Shaheen Baig, member in the Polish team, during the summit push last Friday. He is back up in C1, searching for the three missing climbers.
Image by Artur Hajzer courtesy Polish winter GI expedition 2012, SOURCE
Nasir (Nisar) Hussain, a close friend of Gerfried since 2003.
courtesy Nisar Hussain
2007 file image of Gerfried (right in image).
Swiss mountain guide Cedric Hahlen.
courtesy Cedric Hahlen
GI rescue effort: Shaheen and Abbas in C1, details on route and climbers, word from BC

Posted: Mar 13, 2012 05:30 pm EDT
(Angela Benavides/TS) More Pakistani climbers are joining the effort on Gasherbrum 1. Shaheen Baig, HAP with the Polish team and Abbas, experienced altitude climber originally co-hired as kitchen help by both teams, reached C1 on the peak's normal route at 1 pm, local time today, Polish team leader Artur Hajzer told ExplorersWeb.

"Shaheen and Abbas should continue tomorrow further up to C2, weather permitting," Artur added. As earlier reported by ExplorersWeb in Pakistan Karrar Haidri the search helicopters, grounded since Sunday, will include local climbers Hassan Sadpara (Mount Everest Summiteer), Ali Raza Sadpara and Nazir Sadpara to aid in the search.

The current emergency has hit close to home in Pakistan. Among the three missing is Nasir (Nisar) Hussain, a close friend of Gerfried since 2003. The HAP (high altitude porter) climbed all 8000ers in Pakistan several times without artificial oxygen, and set a new record last summer as the first to summit Pakistan 8000ers ten times.

This winter Nasir for the first time joined the team as an equal team member. In return for his help, Gerfied said he'd later try to fullfil Nasir's dream to climb in Nepal.

Backflash" target="_new">In a pre-expedition interview team leader Gerfried Goshl told Explorersweb he had been studying the new line on the south face for eight years and knows it by heart.

"I'm absolutely positive that this is the most direct route between BC and summit," he said. The climber described the line as technical and demanding up to 6800 meters. "Upon reaching a ridge, we'll have to down climb some meters, but not too much," Gerfried told us. "The route actually gets easier in the upper sections," he said.

As for descent, the climber said the team planned to traverse down to the north side of the mountain, via the normal route.

Latest whereabouts

The third missing climber in the party, Swiss Cedric Hahlen is a young mountain guide from Switzerland who climbed K2, Kanchenjunga, BP foresummit and Gasherbrum II East (7772m) via a new route from the Chinese side." target="_new">In an interview from BC, Gerfried said that Cedric proved a superb climber on hard ice and difficult terrain.

The team had been at 6700m already, and almost reached the top of the headwall which leads to the steep ridge at 6800m. They had another 100 very steep vertical meters to fix. "If there is just a small window, Cedric, Nisar and I will go up to finish those last hard meters and build C2 at 6,800m," Gerfried said.

"If the window is big enough for a summit attempt, we will simply load our backpacks and go for C1, C2, C3 (on the go at around 7200-7300m), summit, and then down via the Japanese couloir on the north side."

The climbers haven been in sporadic contact through their climb, last before planning to set off on the final summit push from their bivy tent at 7,000m 3:00am, local time March 7, "It's freezing cold and visibility is poor but, luckily, wind has dropped," Gerfried stated over the sat phone. They were last spotted by the Polish summiteers from the top early morning local time on March 9, approaching on the ridge via their new route on the south side.

Current toll

Polish team members Darek and Tamara were to join the summit attempt but not the traverse. After his fellow Spanish climbing mate left the expedition, Alex Txikon joined the summit push one day after the others, and found Tamara Stys camped up above the headwall at 6,800m, apparently unable to keep up with the three men. The duo made a dash for a lower summit before descending back to base camp.

Alex, Tamara and several climbers who took part in the recent summit push have suffered frostbite in various degrees. "Janusz has frostbitten nose and Adam both nose and one toe," Artur told ExplorersWeb from BC this morning.

"The frostbites are not dangerous though, and both should soon recover. In any case, we want to sent them back home asap. Unfortunately, helicopters have been grounded due to bad weather so far."

Missing expedition leader Gerfried Göschl (39) lives in Liezen, Austria with his wife and two daughters. He initiated, organized and led several big expeditions for the Austrian Alpine Club (OeAV). His first 8000er summits were Cho Oyu (2002) and GII (2003). In 2005 he summited Shisha Pangma’s main summit and Everest without O2 within a month. In 2007 he attempted a Broad Peak/K2 double header – he summited Broad, but failed to reach K2’s top due to deep snow and high risk of avalanche.

In 2009 Gerfried led a team up a new variation line on Nanga Parbat, but suffered the loss of mate Wolfgang Koblinger.

Through autumn 2010, he collected more than €20,000 for his family's relief organization in Pakistan's Northen areas near Besham, together with his father Rainer Göschl and climbing mates Günther Unterberger, Hans Goger and brother Rainer Wolfgang Göschl (they collaborate through charity lectures). With the donations they provided the first crucial help to the local flood victims.

2011 was a busy year for Gerfried who, after the winter attemtp, ended up summitting GI in summer; then made another attempt at K2, before retreating to prepare for the current winter climb.

Links to 2012 winter GI climbers:

Polish GI winter team
Alex Txikon
Alex Txikon's SPOT
Gerfried Göschl
Cedric Hahlen
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