I have never let myself get discouraged by my expeditions. Even after suffering defeats, I always returned to the mountains, and I pursue my mission just as resolutely. I have lost 25 friends and acquaintances to the “white death” in the snow of the mountains, and I aim to prevent as many people as possible from suffering that tragic fate. To do so, I share my experience with others, and through my weather forecasts, I ensure that those who head out on an expedition survive their major tour and live to see their dreams come true. Even now, as a retiree at the age of 70, I still help by providing advice over the phone.
As a mountain climber, I of course can understand the magical attraction of the major summits. Experiencing the wonders of nature in this way was always front and center for me. When I look back, I’m proud of my achievements, such as taking part in the first Tyrolean-Hindu Kush expedition of the Innsbruck Alpine Club in 1970. We made our way up to a height of 7,492 meters and skied back down. For eleven years, that was the record for the highest summit for a ski trip. Later on, I served as an expedition leader for tours in the Himalayas, and I still managed to climb a 7,000-meter mountain at the age of 66. I don’t think you can plan fate, but you can prepare yourself and approach nature with respect and humility. I still try to impress that on mountain climbers today. Any one of them could be my son or daughter, which is why it’s my mission to do all I can to prevent danger from coming their way.
Yours, Karl Gabl