Pakistan: Gasherbrums in the game!

Posted: Jun 22, 2012 05:56 am EDT

(Newsdesk) En route to climb Gasherbrum 1 where his climbing mate perished only months ago, after 6 days of hiking Baltoro Canadian Louis Rousseau and his team (Italian MD Annalisa, Rob of US, Danish Jacob and Denis who came for the trek) have reached BC.

His fifth expedition in the region Louis says he still finds the vistas breathtaking.

It's emotional to return to this particular BC though, Louis says, where he spent so much time during different circumstances with Gerfried: almost three winter months and two summer months last year. It's hard to bare his soul in public so soon after the deaths of Gerfried, Nisar and Cedric on this same mountain so he'll stick to climbing facts, Louis says, "and quietly tell you the story that we are living here."

Such as:

- "We finally ate the poor goat who has been trekking with us since the start."

- "Out of 10 chickens, two died of cerebral edema on the approach. The other eight are in our stomachs."

From team member Rob:

- "Pakistani sunblock sucks! Probably because they don’t use it."

- "Joshua Tree is definitely U2’s best album--on this topic, there can be no further debate!"

A climb to camp 1 is planned for today, "but the news is not very good," Louis wrote. "The glacier has much changed in the past year and we are going to negotiate many crevasses."

Also in BC (shared with Gasherbrum 2): Polish Jacek Teler, a team of Koreans and a Swiss guided expedition with three high altitude Pakistan porters. Several more teams are expected within a few days.

It still remains a mystery what happened to the three perished climbers on Gasherbrum 1 this winter. A search flight up to 7000 meters across the area climbed by Gerfried Goeschl, Cedric Hahlen, and Nissar (Hussain) Sadpara on March 8 rendered no trace. Leader for the Polish team Artur Hajzer said the men might have got trapped on a plateau leading to the summit.

Austrian expedition leader Gerfried Göschl (39) had been studying a new line on the south face of Gasherbrum I for eight years and was positive it is the most direct route between BC and summit. 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 ExplorersWeb, anticipating the route to get easier in the upper sections. The climbers planned to traverse down to the north side of the mountain and descend via the normal route.

The trio was last in contact 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 about the final summit push. They were last spotted by the Polish summiteers from the top early morning local time on March 8, approaching on the ridge via their new route on the south side.

Göschl's climbing mate, North Face field athlete Louis Rousseau from Quebec had joined Gerfried's first attempt to winter climb Gasherbrum 1. He came with Gerfried for a summer recon climb on G2 last year but stayed home this winter for personal reasons.

Louis summited Broad Peak 8,051 m and climbed until 7,300 m on K2 in 2007. In 2009, he climbed a new route on Nanga Parbat 8,125 m (first Canadian summit) and made two attempts on K2 (7,800 m and 8,360 m) during the same season. In 2011, he tried Gasherbrum 1 8,080 m by a new route on the south face (first winter attempt of the mountain) and then climbed Gasherbrum II 8,035 m.

#Mountaineering #topstory

Life's goood.
Image by Louis Rousseau courtesy Louis Rousseau, SOURCE
LtR: Denis, Louis, Annalisa, Rob and Jacob.
Image by Louis Rousseau courtesy Louis Rousseau, SOURCE
Porters on the way to Urdukas.

Image by Louis Rousseau courtesy Louis Rousseau, SOURCE
Another school for girls with Greg Mortenson.
Image by Louis Rousseau courtesy Louis Rousseau, SOURCE