EXPLORATORY ALPINISM AND OBJECTIVE ZERO FOR HERVÉ BARMASSE AND DAVID GÖTTLER
The mountaineers Hervé Barmasse and David Göttler, both members of ATK® Ambassador Team, took on a very challenging venture: the climbing of Gasherbrum IV (7,925 m), one of the most complicated yet most beautiful mountains in the Karakoram (Pakistan), in pure alpine style and in complete autonomy. No fixed ropes, no supplementary oxygen, and no porters.
A task with Objective Zero. Zero waste left on the mountain and zero environmental impact.
The “Shining Wall”, long considered to be much harder than K2, has only been climbed four times and the first ascent was exactly 60 years ago by Walter Bonatti and Carlo Mauri during an Italian expedition led by Riccardo Cassin.
“You could say we’re following in the footsteps of Bonatti, the great explorer, using the evolution of the high-altitude approach introduced by Reinhold Messner”, explains Barmasse, alpine guide from the Aosta Valley. Last year, together with Göttler, who comes from Bavaria, they managed to climb the south face of Shisha Pangma (8,027 m) in just 13 hours in pure alpine style. “It’s nice to go back to Karakoram and Pakistan. Climbing the south-west face of Gasherbrum IV certainly won’t be easy. It’s been attempted by other climbers who I regard as being able, talented and very good climbers. But David and I have trained well and we hope to have our shot at it.”
They will take just 12 kg of gear with them, a fifth of the kit required for a similar expedition style (or siege style) ascent, and just 60 meters of rope. An alpine style ascent is 70% more demanding, both mentally and physically, than the same ascent done in expedition style.
“The way we do things is more important than the summit we want to reach”.
Photo Credit ©Hervé Barmasse / ©Clayton Boyd