Goettler and Barmasse Go For Dhaulagiri Alpine Style

David Goettler and Herve Barmasse have finally revealed that Dhaulagiri is their chosen winter 8,000’er.

Goettler already climbed Dhaulagiri in 2008 with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, an expedition he calls one of the smoothest he has ever done. However, as he told ExplorersWeb after climbing Everest without supplementary O2 last spring, he wanted to do  “something new and interesting” in the Himalaya. Dhaulagiri in winter, alpine style, will “add a whole new level of complexity”.

The climbers fly to Base Camp as soon as the weather allows.

Goettler walks across a steep snow slope, ice-axe in one hand and a walking pole on the other.

David Goettler after first climbing Dhaulagiri in 2008. Photo: David Goettler/Instagram



Barmasse takes a selfie of himself and Goettler, with peaks in background.

Herve Barmasse (left) and David Goettler in the Khumbu Valley last week. Photo: Herve Barmasse/Instagram

Epic winter history

Dhaulagiri was first climbed in winter by a 1985 Polish expedition led by Adam Bilczewski. The expedition was epic: constant avalanches, hurricane-force winds, and temperatures down to -40ºC. The legendary Jerzy Kukuczka and Andrzej Czok reached the summit on January 21. It was their second attempt and was done in terrible weather. Czok and five other expedition members suffered serious frostbite.

Also remarkable was the fast and light ascent of the East Face by Jean Troillet, Erhard Loretan, and Pierre-Alain Steiner of Switzerland some months later. After acclimatizing and deciding on the best line to follow (to the left of the MacIntyre-Kurtyka route), the Swiss team set off on December 4, 1985. With only two bivouacs, they summited on December 8, according to The Himalayan Database. However, it was not pure winter, since the climb took place well before the solstice.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.