Hem Gasherbrum Cho Oyu 2015 will be Gasherbrum II 2016

Cho Oyu 2015 will be Gasherbrum II 2016

Gasherbrum II © Scarpa/Cory Richards
Gasherbrum II © Scarpa/Cory Richards
Touching the Void
Touching the Void
There is a word/expression – ‘Void’ or ‘The Void’. It is popular in the climbing community, not least because of the movie ‘ Touching the Void‘ – go see it if you haven’t already! Void is exactly how I would describe my feelings when I found out that the Cho Oyu 2015 expedition was cancelled. Emptiness defined!

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.

Gasherbrum II
Gasherbrum II
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…


  1. Hi Jan, Salaams and greetings from Pakistan. Great to see your plan for Gasherbrum II in this coming summer 2016. We do have expeditions and also for GII and you are most welcome to join 🙂


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