I’ve always had a fascination for mountaineering, but never actually got around to it seriously. Then an unexpected phone-call from legendary climbers Jean Troillet, Fred Roux and Olivier Roduit quickly changed this.
They invited me to join them to climb four Himalayan summits of 8000m – an offer I excitedly could not refuse and we headed for Pakistan.
We reached the summits of Gasherbrum I (8068m) on the 30th of July 2007 and Gasherbrum II (8035m) on the 12th of August 2007. An absolutely exhilarating experience and I couldn’t wait to conquer the next two.
Then our luck turned for the worse. Heavy snowfalls and severe icy winds started battering us, signalling the arrival of winter. Attempts at any further ascents would be impossible. Despondent, we left Baltoro Glacier at the foot of Broad Peak and K2, knowing we had to return to Europe.
Although our expedition was sadly over, thanks to being in this formidable team, I now had two summits under my belt. Much more impressively, this brought Jean Troillet’s tally of conquering summits of more than 8000m to ten – and all without additional oxygen. This now ranks him with the best alpinists in the world.