Gerfried Goschl

Gerfried Goschl was born on 3rd Oct 1972 in Liezen, Austria. On growing up he had a strong urge to become a mountaineering legend by climbing new routes on hazardous and high mountains under most difficult environments. Following footsteps of his mountaineer father Mr Rainer Goschl, he was imbued with strong passion and spirit to climb in Karakoram and Himalayas.

Gerfried Goschl initiated, organized and led several big expeditions for the Austrian Alpine Club (OeAV). He first climbed Cho Oyu (8,201m, Nepal) in 2002, and then Gasherbrum II (8,035, Pakistan) in 2003. In 2005, within one month he climbed Shishapangma (8,027 m, Tibet China) and Mt Everest (8,848 m, Nepal) without using oxygen. Obsessed with the ultimate adventure, he organized large expeditions climbing more than one peak in a single season, especially in Pakistan. In summer 2007, he organized and led a large expedition and attempted Broad Peak/K2 double header. He summitted Broad Peak (8047 m), but failed to ascend K2 (8,611 m) due to deep snow and high risk of avalanche. In 2009, Gerfried led yet another large expedition for a new variation line on Nanga Parbat (8,125 m), but could not succeed.

Last year ie, 2011 was an eventful for Gerfried Goschl, as he launched three expeditions to Pakistan. He organized and led first winter expedition to Gasherbrum I (8,068) during winter of 2010/11 attempting a new route from South side, but could not succeed. In summer 2011 he organized a large international expedition comprising 27 climbers from Austria, Canada, Netherland, Great Britain, Italy and Pakistan and attempted tripple header ie, Gasherbrum I (8,068 m) I, Gasherbrum II (8,035 m) and K-2 (8,611 m). His team was successful in putting more than 18 members on the summits of Gasherbrum I and II. Unfortunately the expedition could only reach up to 7,800 metres on K-2, where heavy snow and bad weather conditions forced him to turn back.

During winter of 2011/2012 he returned back to Pakistan to make renewed attempt to make first winter ascent of Gasherbrum I from the new route on South side which he had attempted a year before. He was successful in traversing this new and most difficult route on the mountain under extremely low temperatures (in the range of minus 50 to 70 degrees Centigrade) and strong winds often blowing more than 50 kms per hour. He, along with Pakistani mountaineer Nisar Hussain and Swiss climber Hehlen Cedric was last seen just below the Gasherbrum I summit on the fateful day of 9th March 2012 at 12 pm, when he along with his team mates disappeared and were declared lost near the Summit after aerial search conducted later.

Besides actively climbing in Pakistan Mr Gerfried Goschl also made his contributions during natural disasters in Pakistan. Together with his father Rainer Goschl and climbing mates he collected more than €20,000 for his family’s relief organization in near Besham, Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa and provided the first crucial help to the local flood victims.

Mr Gerfried Goschl was a true friend of Pakistan, who made valuable contributions towards promotion of Pakistan’s mountain tourism by bringing number of large expeditions to Pakistan during the period when the mountain tourism to Gilgit-Baltistan was at a low ebb. Launching of winter expeditions by him also generated a renewed interest in winter climbing in Pakistan. Through his mountaineering ventures and achievement he contributed to increasing inflow of foreign mountaineers to Pakistan, both during summer and winter. With his loss the international mountaineering community has been deprived of a mountaineer par excellence and Pakistan a very dear friend.

All members of Alpine Club of Pakistan, its officials and office bearers express their deepest sorrow and grief on this tragedy and loss of Gerfried Goschl. In him we have lost a great mountaineer, a good husband, a good father and a good human being. Our heart goes out for his family and friends in this hour of grief and distress. May God Bless his soul eternal peace in the Heavens and give his family members strength to shoulder this irreparable loss.