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with Stefan Nestler

David Goettler on Shishapangma: 4 questions, 4 answers

Acclimatization climb for the Shishapangma South Face

David Goettler and Hervé Barmasse are waiting for their chance. For a good weather window, which allows them to enter the Shishapangma South Face where they – as reported before –want to climb a new route. In contrast to Mount Everest, where both sides of the mountain are overrun by hundreds of climbers, the 38-year-old German and the 39-year-old Italian are alone in their Base Camp on the south side of the Shishapangma. I sent David four questions.

David, at what stage is your expedition?

We have completed our acclimatization on 9 May. We stayed for one night on a 6,900-meter-high col (pass) to the right of Shishapangma. Now we are in the Base Camp and wait for a good weather window. We had a good look at the possibility of the new route from the Advanced Base Camp. It now depends on the weather.

David Goettler (l.) and Hervé Barmasse (r.)

How are the conditions on the mountain?

The conditions don’t seem to be so bad. They were very good on the col. Hopefully, they are just as well in the South Face. Since we want to tackle the whole thing in Alpine style, we have not yet been there.

How do you both work as a team? How is your mood?

The atmosphere is awesome and positive. We are both happy that we could sleep so well and without problems at 6,900 meters. The route up and down was a great test for the South Face. We have a lot of fun, and it’s kind of special for us to be here so alone.

When will it get really serious with the new route?

That’s hard to say. We are in constant contact with Karl Gabl (an experienced meteorologist from Austria) and hope for an early weather window. At the moment it has finally got warmer (before we had minus 13 degrees Celsius in the tent in Base Camp), and there is only little wind – however, unpredictable cloudiness and precipitation. Not much, but for us unfortunately five centimeters of fresh snow and zero visibility are really bad. Here are no fixed ropes or path markings that show us the way. Therefore, a bit of fresh snow can quickly turn into a serious danger when you are climbing in a 2000-meter-high wall.


14. May 2017 | 14:23