I have prepared myself mentally and physically for almost two (2) years for this. To climb an 8,000-meter mountain. And in the end there was only nothing – not even a small hill.
But it is when it’s darkest, you can see the stars. Everything fell into place. I’m not going to join the Manaslu expedition in which I have place this August – I simply cannot reload. In addition, Manaslu objectively, is far more dangerous than Cho Oyu and I like to keep the lottery-aspect in my expeditions as low as possible. On Manaslu about 10% have perished historically, and while that figure is a bit misleading (since there have been two major accidents on the mountain), it is still a high figure. This is, after all, a question of life or death – literally.
So as I glanced the list of 8,000ers from the bottom, where Cho Oyu is the safest of the 8,000-meter mountains, a new name popped up. Yes, I am, of course, familiar to the name Gasherbrum – but no more than that. But all the pieces fell into place when I studied the type of expedition, and the mountain. This is my mountain.
Hence, now I have a new plan. It contains a bit of climbing this October – I’ll get back to that later – and then to reach for Gasherbrum II in the summer of 2016. As a backup I will keep Cho Oyu or Manaslu. This will give me time to prepare myself mentally for all three mountains – just in case.
A small introduction to Gasherbrum II (for those of you who are impatient and just want to see the summit bid – start at minute 8:00)
And then there are the maniacs – those who have to do it during winter…