Conditions got better in the afternoon and the snow storm eventually calmed down. We were already on our way back, carefully avoiding the crevasses and keeping a safe distance from the wall with its huge cornices.
Looking back at the death zone between 7000m and 8000m.
And then we saw him. We really did. The Zipflbob God himself.
Inspired by our spiritual encounter, we felt ready for another first descent.
On our way back to basecamp, we gathered for an expedition team photograph. Everyone was still stunned. Zipflbob god was with us all day.
We followed our tracks from earlier that day to get back to the hut, already anticipating the fireplace and a warm welcome with fresh sherpa tea from our expedition cook.
Some didn’t believe that we really knocked off the bastard. They also didn’t believe that we saw Zipflbob god. But we did.
Yeah, there was already a fair bit of snow when we woke up that morning and it looked like there was more to come. We got all our gear together, then found a volunteer to do the hard work and lead the group. When we left the hut, it was snowing pretty hard and we were expecting tough conditions on the upper slopes. We had heard of a Swiss expedition, which had reached the south col earlier this year, but since then, snow storms have battered the mountain and there were no further attempts on this extremely exposed new route.
We reached the steep rock face about 2 hours later and Sebastian lead the first pitch. We carefully explored the cracks and structures of the wall as we were confident that it was possible to do a first Zipflbob descend.
We passed overhanding rock faces and started to feel the altitude. The oxygen level at this point dropped down to about 10% of the concentration at sea level. Although it was tough, we did not use any portable oxygen on our climb. Instead, the stronger people in the group used mouth-to-mouth breathing to help out the weak.
Again, we encountered difficult terrain. Lukas had to lead climb a 9c pitch, before we reached the summit plateau.
The summit slopes turned out to be even steeper than expected. Step after step, we climbed the 70 degrees slope.
Just about 50m from the summit, we had to call it a climb. It was just way to dangerous to go any further from here. Avalanches, high winds and freezing temperatures forced us to dig shelter and prepare for our descent. Eddie and Susi decided that it would be best to descent the mountain the most direct route and we were mentally preparing ourselves for the first time ever Zipflbob descent of this mountain.
Guess why it is called Zipflbob („cock bob“)
Who needs goggles anyway?
… to be continued…
We’re not gonna tell anyone about the special power drink in the bottle. Let’s just say it is some kind of immunization for a sore bum. Yeah – you DO need it. No way you can beat our record times without it, as you’d tend to break more often. A few more practice runs and we are ready to sign up for the Zipflbob Word Championships in Austria. Got interested? You’ll find plenty of information on www.zipflbob.com – Guess how fast they say you can go on such a beast? 139km/h – that’s just nuts! Wonder what that guy had in his bottle…?