Louis Rosseau vows never to attempt Gasherbrum-1 again after being swept away by avalanche: Expedition is over
Gasherbrum-1, the 11th highest mountain in the world is fast becoming a notorious one too after denying summit to consecutive hard climbers in a span of eight months. Canadian Louis Rosseau, who was attempting to summit the 8,080m peak last week and was hoping to locate the missing winter expedition on the mountain, has now decided to give up after being swept away by a huge avalanche.
This is the second expedition on G-1 after Austrian Gerfried Goshcl and two other teammates Swiss Cedric Hahlen and Pakistani Nisar Hussain lost their lives in March this year. Their bodies were never found despite several recon flights over the 8000er.
Rosseau, a long-time friend of Goschl and who scaled the adjacent G-2 in the previous summer along with Goschl, was hoping to pitch this recon expedition in order to find the truth and probably the remains of his friend.
Following the most frequently adopted route via the Japanese Couloir, Rosseau and his team was hit by a massive avalanche and were swept some 500m down, fortunately however, no casualties were sustained.
"The great news is that no one was seriously hurt. The bad news is that our summit push ended when a large avalanche swept down the Japanese Couloir, knocking 5 of the 6 climbers down the mountain. Over the last 5 or so days, we moved up from BC to Camp 1, spending a night there, then on to Camp 2, where we spent 2 nights
waiting for good weather”.
Rosseau backed up by Rob, Jacob, Mehdi, Luca, and Jacek set out to cross the Japanese Couloir early at 3 am in the morning, following an encouraging weather report on July 18th.
The team had moved steadily up and reached Camp-2 in a matter of few days and was hoping to summit the peak depending on the weather reports ahead.
Describing the horrific ordeal, Rosseau said, “I was looking down at the rest of the team when I felt the initial surge of snow against me. The first feeling was of a small wave against my body. As I turned, the full force of the wave of snow hit me and knocked me off my position. The 5 climbers below me were quickly knocked down and sent into a freefall down the Couloir. Only Jacob, who was just to my left and saw the snow coming, was able to dig in his ice axes and avoid being taken down”.
Rosseau being the expedition leader has now decided to abandon the expedition citing fresh snow over the peak, posing serious threat to the climb.
For the moment, Rosseau has returned and now regards G-1 as his own Annapurna after second consecutive failed attempt to scale the mountain. Rosseau also attempted to summit the peak last year but had to abandon the mission at 6600m.
This was Rosseau’s third unsuccessful attempt to scale the mountain. He has now decided to be complacent with 13 eight-thousanders in his career and has vowed never to return to G-1.
He added, “G1 is my own Annapurna. It took everything from me and I have to rebuild myself again. Yesterday in BC during dinner, two important new friends told me, 'Louis now you'll you have to find yourself'. This is exactly what I will do... and the adventure continues. Next update will be from Skardu, I’m leaving BC tomorrow!"