Mountaineering is not for the faint-hearted. High altitudes, extreme temperatures, and hostile environments make it a challenging activity on the best of days. So when David Göttler and Hervé Barmasse announced their plan to scale one of three 8000-metre Himalayan peaks this winter, no one assumed they had alpine style in mind.
What is alpine style?
Alpine style is all about self-sufficiency. Forget about camps stocked with supplies dotted along the route. Forget ropes, fixed lines, and supplemental oxygen. Alpine style means carrying all your food, shelter and equipment with you on the climb.
It's a feat that's never been attempted before in winter at this altitude. And if they succeed, David and Hervé will make history.
Having already conquered five of the 14 different 8000m peaks on Earth, David is a respected member of the global climbing community. Buzzing with energy, he pushes the boundaries of light and fast mountaineering.
The fourth generation of his family to work as a mountain guide, Hervé is one of the world's most accomplished and respected alpinists. Rather than pursuing the highest climbs, he looks for technical, challenging and – most importantly – unattempted routes.
With an eye on the forecast, David and Hervé are mulling over which of the three Himalayan giants to scale. And, of course, they're putting in the hours to get comfortable at altitude before making a final decision.
So, what options are on the table?
2. Nanga Parbat
Located in the western Himalayas, Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest peak in the world. Standing at 8.126 meters (26,660 feet) tall, this majestic mountain is a true test of a climber's mettle.
The mountain's name, Nanga Parbat, means "Naked Mountain" in Urdu, due to the lack of vegetation on its slopes.
The seventh highest mountain in the world standing at 8,167 meters (26,795 feet) in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is known for its challenging climbing routes and unpredictable weather, and has a history of deadly avalanches
The mountain's name, Dhaulagiri means "White Mountain" in Sanskrit.
"Full of Food"
Annapurna is a massif in the Himalayas of north-central Nepal, the tenth highest mountain in the world, reaching an elevation of 8,091 meters (26,545 feet) at its highest point. It is known as one of the deadliest of the eight-thousanders, with a high fatality rate among climbers
The mountain's name, Annapurna, means "full of food" in Sanskrit, and is named after the Hindu goddess of the same name who is associated with fertility and agriculture.
Over the years, David and Hervé have bagged peaks together and built a strong expedition partnership, finding their personal goals and visions for responsible mountaineering aligned. They're looking at this alpine-style adventure as a step towards minimising their environmental footprint, even if this carries a higher risk of danger.
We can't wait to see where David and Hervé's winter expedition takes them. Stay tuned for updates as their journey unfolds.