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  Hidden Peak Winter Expedition 2011 : The mountain was stronger


The Austrian-Basque-Canadian team had to give early today after a long expectant the wind hit. Resist the weather forecast it stormed incessantly. To a further rise was not the question. Waited several hours to the trio, but also at dawn entered no improvement. "Under these conditions, we have come to no chance of the summit," said audibly troubled, difficult Gerfried disappointed. Under caution, the trio is now rising from the base camp and is currently at an altitude of 6300m (Gasherbrum La).

How great the disappointment over the failure of the winter expedition, can even imagine for the layman. Months of preparation work, persistence in the cold for hours Verfixen the new route, etc, all these hardships literally blown away by the wind. Who knows Gerfried do know that the great state of frustration, the struggle with himself and the mountain will be of short duration, its relentless positive attitude is expected tomorrow again sprayed through the phone ;-)

It remains to wish the climbers a safe descent and a safe journey home!

Earlier: After a hard track work all three climbers have reached the planned camp at 7000m. Given the currently high wind and extreme cold could set up the three, only the inner tent. It had to be secured with ropes because of the wind. A very long and strenuous work in this amount. Gerfried sounded tired and exhausted!
Should the wind, as predicted, turn or less to be the ABC team breaks early tonight against 3 clock (clock = 23 pak.Zeit our time) towards the summit of Hidden Peak (8080m) on. No easy task in place, but still above 1000 meters in front of them. Whether the weather or extend the powers to? We will see it and then we have our fingers crossed!

Earlier: Gerfried, Louis and Alex turned around. Currently, the climbers are in Camp 1, they will still continue to descend to base camp. About the exact reasons Gerfried could not say anything, the disappointment over the failed attempt still predominates. In the coming days there will be a detailed report.

The most important thing is that all are healthy :-)



Since February 10 (more than three weeks), we nearly only had clouds over our heads. Although suffering a lot under these tough circumstances we worked hard and established camp 1 on the icy ridge at 6300m. Even if there was no good weather we climbed up again last Tuesday, two days ago. After long work we widened the tiny platform a little bit more, built up the tent, secure it with ice screws and Abalakov anchors. Two people could lie-down on solid ground, but one must be happy with “void hanging” tent floor. Luckily Alex agreed without hesitation to take this “cherished” place. To be more save and preserve his nerves, we filled the area with ropes and he kept roped in his sleeping bag. Our first night on the mountain was harsh with -35° and strong wind and we nearly got no sleep. It was hard to get out of the sleeping bag in the morning after freezing a lot. The strong storm didn't allow a climb up. After a short breakfast we quickly went down to basecamp yesterday in difficult conditions. Now our acclimatization and our bodies are ready for the next step, to attempt the summit. Trusting our irreplaceable friend Dr. Karl Gabl it looks good that on the end of the week the sky opens for the first time after weeks and the stormy conditions slowly go down to more gentle wind. Maybe we try a first summit attempt next week.



Louis and I started last Friday in bad weather already at 4:20am. Alex couldn't join us this time because sadly he was sick with fever. After an exhausting ascent, we had to break trail and put out the fix rope out of the wind pressed snow, we reached the ridge at around 6300m in the early afternoon. Soon we could find a not ideal, but counting the circumstances, good and save place for our “very high” camp 1. We hacked more than two hours the blue ice to get a tiny platform for our tent. It's a very small place, but we have no choice. Finally we are happy that after three weeks of hard work we have a camp 1. Exhausted but satisfied we came back to BC after 14.5 hours. On the same day three porters reached BC with 24 chicken, heating gas and other important things we needed. Because of deep snow on the Baltoro glacier they reached us after eight days of hard and unbelievable effort. We use the possibility to say a hearty thank you to these nameless porters and to our agent, Ali Muhammad from Adventure Pakistan, for their great help and assistance! Now we know that we will have a great BC live in the near future too. Till we have bad weather here in the range of the Gasherbrums. As soon we get green (weather) light from Dr. Karl Gabl we will go up again to sleep in C1 and force the route till the end of the steep wall at around 6800m. Next time we will be joint again by Alex “The Chicken” Txikon, luckily he is completely healthy again! We will need the performance of his strong arms to widen the place of our camp 1 a little.



Since some days we have to face typical Himalaya winter weather, sky full of clouds, snowfall, strong winds and deep temperatures. Last Sunday we reached 6250m although there have been clouds and strong wind, but couldn't find any flat place for our tent. After seeking for a while till full darkness we had only one choice, to go down to BC again. We reached it late, at 9:30pm after 15 hours of hard work. Since Monday we are sitting in BC now, waiting for better weather, which is not ready to come. Exact five weeks ago we had our last shower. Nobody can imagine how we feel under these circumstances. Because of freezing a lot and hard work on the mountain we lost some kilograms of weight already. Louis is pretending that his thighs are half now. We have to say thank you to our kitchen stuff, Waqar Yonis and Muhammad Kahn. Each day they make great food, we have to confess that we never had such good service on any expedition before. All my books are read. Many times my thoughts are with my family, especially my charming small daughters. Luckily our BC-manager Pierre brought a chess computer, so sometimes I can train my skills.

Although the weather is not better tomorrow we wanna go up again. We will start very early at 4:30am in full darkness at the coldest time of the day because we need to hack out with our ice axes a place for our tent from the steep hard blue ice, which will take some hours. But will come down again because the bad weather don't allows a sleep up there. Unfortunately the bad weather period will hold on. Our friend Dr. Karl Gabl gave us a small chance of good weather at the end of next week. Charly knows how to activate our motivation.



Recently, we were plagued by some concerns, because we have more than 400 New England missing fixed ropes which we sent in the fall of the base camp. Without this cable, it would be very difficult route to climb over. Two days ago, Louis was looking for candy, and surprisingly, he found the rope that seemed lost. As you can see we have a new chair for our kitchen tent!
Yesterday, on 17 Februar, we started back towards the mountain. We wore a couple of gas canisters and a TNF Mountain 35 tent and after a little over five hours we reached our last depot to nearly 6100m. Shortly after noon we started (to be exact: Louis) our work in unfamiliar terrain. Unexpectedly, it was the terrain more difficult than expected. Therefore, and because of the high altitude we gained very slowly meters. On cold, cloudy and windy afternoon, we made a mistake and unfortunately we had to descend again to find the right route. Although we did our best, we returned because of the lateness of the hour to 16:45 clock. Sometimes you just luck and commit wrong decisions? Sorry, we do not yet reached the intended place for us to camp 1, which is located at about 6250m (This course is unusually high for a stock one, so we call it in our discussions usually "Camp 2. The wall is too steep to to find a safe place beforehand for the tent.) rappelling and descending we reached in just two hours in glorious full moon, the base camp, twelve and a half hours after we left it. We were a little unhappy about the events of the day, but we are still very motivated to climb this difficult but beautiful route to the end.

Dr. Karl Gable sent us a very good weather forecast for next Monday. So we will rise up on Sunday with cloudy weather to use the Monday for further work on the route. I hope we can on Tuesday when we return to base camp, or report the latest good news Wednesday on the ABC team.

Hidden Peak With warm regards from the base camp of the Hidden Peak

Gerfried Göschl

Yesterday in good, but cold weather we climbed again in the steep south face of Hidden Peak.

After a freezing breakfast at 5am we started 1:20 hours later. As usual our rucksacks have been quite heavy again. Bad luck, on the route our fixropes have been buried under wind pressed snow. It´s a real distressing, hard work to put it out again. Therefore we reached our last depot at 5800m more lately than expected at 11am.

We prepared the rope and Louis climbed ahead. Nobody knows how freezing it is in winter to belay and wait at the same point until you can follow your partner after one and a half hour later. The same procedure followed one by one. This afternoon Louis climbed harder than ever on this route in difficult rotten rock and hard ice till 70°. Alex and I climbed behind with the fixropes on the back, each of us carrying more than 20kg.

Finally we stopped our hard work at 4pm at 6100m. At our last belay point we left more than 1000m of rope, before we started to abseil down to the foot of the mountain. Twelve hours after our start in completely darkness, only slight moon light in our back, we reached the BC exhausted but satisfied.

Today we used the day to recover from the tiring effort. Tomorrow early morning, motivated by a very good weather forecast from our friend Dr. Karl Gabl, we will climb up again to establish our first camp at around 6300m.



Yesterday, 02/10/2011, we have used the good weather and in all premature at -25 ° C from the base camp broken up. Despite the large burden on our shoulders we could feel the progression of our acclimatization. Thus we reached as early as 9:30 am, after three hours of climbing, our depot at 5600m. Up to 2 clock in the afternoon we worked on the route, to us a strong wind and the cold drove back to base camp. Due to technical difficulties, we could only reach 5800m, 900m left there, but New England fixed rope for the next climb.

Now, once regeneration is called for and wait as the weather is bad in the next few days and snow is called for. Maybe I can use this time for a first full body cleansing after three weeks and a shave.

As soon as we Dr. Karl Gable is an acceptable weather forecast we have to leave. Here again, a very formal thank you to Charly, who is actually an additional team member and supported us well!

We, the ABC team notify us whenever there is news.



When we arrived last Friday for the first time the base of the wall of the Hidden Peak, we had the whole weekend including Monday to fight for our base camp. Severe winter storms well over 100km / h ripped away most of our tents. Only by specific, lengthy additional security measures we could the existence of the base camp safe. After a good weather forecast for Tuesday by Dr. Karl Gabl we broke yesterday (8.2.) On a first serious attempt. In painstaking work we fixed the route up to 5600m where we left a bag with 500m rope and fixing material. Among other things, we worked around the central couloir of the south wall very tricky, a vertical 10m high rock wall. Pleased we reached after about 9 hours of work in the dark, the base camp.

It's a great feeling once again to enter new territory on an eight-meter peaks. The technical difficulties at the bottom of our route on Hidden Peak are comparable with the British route on the south wall of Shisha Pangma or Kinshofer route on Nanga Parbat. overcome such difficulties in the winter is again another dimension of high altitude mountaineering. In the upper part uMorgen Thursday, according to Charles Gable a good day, like Louis, Alex and I drive the route up to 6100m, our planned camp 1.


Gerfried and his comrade Berg are fine. They are after a stormy night at base camp. Wind speeds around the 120 km / h they could not sleep. Although bad weather was forecast that the storm would sweep but in such a violence on the tents, so that no one expected. Today, Gerfried and co failed to make up the sleep and mainly determine whether important material is missing 


The first two stages of the trek towards base camp are done. The Trio (Louis Rousseau, Alex and Gerfried Txikon) this afternoon (local time) both with 26 carriers and two cooks Payu. Already, it is extremely cold, so we sleep together in the large kitchen tent. Thursday morning the troops marched on to Urdukas (4050m). Am 31.1., After three stops, want to be the climbers at Base Camp of the Hidden Peak at 5100m.

Louis Rousseau celebrates the way in a tent with a sip of brandy his 34th Birthday, well then "Happy Birthday"


Thursday morning began my long and arduous journey.  Is to separate me from my family very hard for me.  However, I am looking forward, this difficult project on which I worked so long and hard to implement at last.  For love of adventure, but also from environmental and financial reasons, I would march with my friends walk to the base camp of the Hidden Peak (8080m) and not fly by helicopter. Never before has an expedition in the winter has imposed such a strain.  This is already a sensation when we, in these arctic conditions at all the wall foot of the mountain at 5100 meters.  Then we will tackle the still tougher: a new route will allow us the first winter ascent of Hidden Peak.

I want to thank my wife Heike, who has once again incredible and has supported me tremendously.  It must in this long period of my absence would not only provide our own lovely children, but will also serve together with my good friend Martin Kolle's homepage.
You see in the next few days, my trip from home to Vienna, then to Dubai and Islamabad, then in the north of Pakistan to Skardu and Askole. 
I am happy if you follow me and my team on arrival and on the mountain and our fingers crossed :-)
Yours sincerely
Gerfried Göschl

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