(Tina Sjogren) They were so close. He would bring her picture to every summit and they married on an Austrian mountain top. The first daughter was named Sagarmatha and then another arrived, all bright and blonde like fairies in a classic saga from the Alps.
And then it fell apart. In March 2012 Gerfried Goschl (Göschl) and his two climbing mates vanished on Karakoram's Gasherbrum 1, leaving behind Heike and the kids with few clues to what had happened. "Two and a half years have passed since Gerfried no longer returned from Hidden Peak," Heike wrote in a newsletter email a few days back. "Much time has passed, life has changed. The experience, the memories remain, the pain of loss is still there."
To find closure last year Heike and well known mountain writer Jochen Hemmleb set out in search for answers. The result is a remarkable work of 288 pages, Heike says, "a book we are immensely proud of!" It shows not only Gerfried's climbs but also all the special people along his way. The two will present the book at the culture house in Ger's hometown Liezen on October 2nd (Thursday in two weeks) at 7.30 pm.
Even for that time of the year, it was a bad season. A Russian team who dared to attempt the first winter climb of K2 were punished by a fatal accident. The hardy Moro/Urubko duo abandoned Nanga Parbat. But the teams on Gasherbrum 1 would not give up. "An old fox is not easily snared,” the Poles would boast in defiance after being kicked off the mountain by winds reaching up to 100 km/h above 6,000 meters. Read the full debrief here.
Gerfried Göschl resided in Liezen, Austria with his wife and two daughters. He initiated, organized and led several big expeditions for the Austrian Alpine Club (OeAV). His first 8000er summits were Cho Oyu (2002) and GII (2003). In 2005 he summited Shisha Pangma’s main summit and Everest without O2 within a month. In 2007 he attempted a Broad Peak/K2 double header – he summited Broad, but failed to reach K2’s top due to deep snow and high risk of avalanche. In 2009 Gerfried led a team up a new variation line on Nanga Parbat, but suffered the loss of mate Wolfgang Koblinger. Through autumn 2010, he collected more than €20,000 for his family's relief organization in Pakistan's Northen areas near Besham, together with his father Rainer Göschl and climbing mates Günther Unterberger, Hans Goger and brother Rainer Wolfgang Göschl (they collaborated through charity lectures). With the donations they provided the first crucial help to the local flood victims. 2011 was a busy year for Gerfried who, after a winter attempt, ended up summitting GI in summer; then attempted K2 again in preparation for his second attempt of winter GI via a new route, leading an international team.
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