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with Stefan Nestler

Goettler: “It was too close”

David during his summit attempt (© The North Face)

David during his summit attempt (© The North Face)

David Goettler is not only a fast climber, but also a speed responder. After I had written the report about the failed summit attempt on Nanga Parbat, I sent an email with some questions to the 35-year-old climber in Pakistan. I really didn’t expect a rapid response, because David had just arrived back at base camp and should actually need time to recover. However, an hour later I got the acoustic signal for a new message. His answers are rather brief, writes Goettler, “I’m still half on the mountain ;-).” Read it for yourself!

David, once again it was not to be. What a pity! A lack of your determination was not the reason.

No, I felt fit. But we also knew or noticed that the terrain up there was really challenging. This means that you must have still a lot of strength and concentration for the descent. In combination with only one reserve day  concerning the weather we decided that it was too close.

Have you agreed quickly or discussed at length?

We did agree immediately.

After Simone had to quit because of stomach trouble, you were suddenly in a two-climber-team with Tomek Mackiewicz. Had you to change over to this new situation?

Fore sure, it’s something different when you are suddenly climbing with another partner. Simone and I were a well-established team, and we have worked together well.

How hard was it for you to turn around so far up on the mountain?

These are not easy moments. Your mind is telling you that you are doing the right thing, but on the other hand you are thinking about whether a little more risk would be responsible.

What do you take back home as experience from three failed summit attempts on Nanga Parbat?

A time of intense moments, the loneliness and the incredible dimensions up here.

It was your first winter expedition to an eight-thousander. Can you imagine to try it again?

Right now it’s too early to say. But I had a very good time here, so why not?

The expedition is coming to an end. After eight weeks on the mountains, what are you looking forward to most of all?

To a time without wooly hat and long johns, but the most to my girlfriend!


1. March 2014 | 22:23