Interview with Gerfried Goschl: Team Leader of the Gasherbrum 1 winter expedition Part-1

 

While the Russians will be attempting the first successful ascent of the Savage K-2, another team of highly ambitious and renowned climbers will be locked in a fierce battle to summit Gasherbrum 1, the 11th highest mountain in the world. This
will also be the first successful attempt of the dreaded peak in case the team is able to reach the peak in the dead of winters. Gerfried Goschl, one of the accomplished mountaineers in the world, will be leading the team including
Darek Zaluski, Nisar Hussain, Cedric Hahlen, Alex Txikon and Carlos Suarez and will be treading on a new route on the 8,080 metre peak.

Here is the details of the latest interview with the team leader Goschl who confided the latest intricate details of the mission.

Question: Are you going for the same line you tried last year?

Goschl: Yes, the same route we attempted last winter on the steep south face of G1. I’ve been checking this (rather logical) line for eight years and know it by heart by now. I’m absolutely positive that this is the most direct route between
BC and summit.

Question: What does it look like, in terms of difficulty?

Goschl: It’s quite technical and demanding up to 6800 meters. Upon reaching a ridge, we’ll have to down climb some meters, but not too much. The route actually gets easier in the upper sections. Looking down on it from the G1 summit this
summer, it was exactly like I had imagined. I’m so looking forward to be back again soon on this fantastic face!

Question: What are your plans for the descent?

Goschl: Well, some of us are planning to traverse down to the north side of the mountain, and descend via the normal route – thus achieving a first ascent+traverse.

Question: The "ABC Team" has doubled up. Did you headhunt for the new members or did they come to you?

Goschl: In fact last winter showed us that the job needed on such a steep face was too exhausting for only three climbers. After Louis quit the upcoming attempt, Alex and I looked for the right people to share our project.

Question: Will you be working as one single team under your leadership, or do you have different objectives within the expedition? How will you share the work?

Goschl: We will all work as one team on the south face. I plan to divide the work in two small groups fixing the route up to 6800 meters as fast as possible. We all will climb together from there, especially on the summit push.

Question: The new additions are Polish Darek Zaluski, Spanish Carlos Suarez, Nisar Hussain from Pakistan and Swiss Cedric Hahlen. Tell us more about them?

Goschl:  Well, Darek has got five 8000ers – latest, K2 north pillar this summer. He is also a professional cameraman and, typically for that generation of Polish mountaineers, highly experienced in winter climbing. Darek
is our man, especially to film a documentary about the climb.

 

To be continued…. 

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