Simon-Black-Tooth-top-banner Simon-Black-Tooth-top-banner

Simon Messner

Moments to remember


Simon Messner describes his trip to Pakistan.

I spent two whole months in Pakistan this summer. I was there to film, but I was also planning on climbing a few mountains. There were a few moments on this trip that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life! Just like snapshots, they’re stored away in my memory.

Heading out alone on a starry night (on 29 June 2019) to the foot of the rock face on Geshot Peak. Surrounded by deep silence. The last 50 metres to the summit of Geshot Peak (6,200m) that has never been climbed before. My rapid pulse, thumping in my ears. My heart in my throat. Then finally, the long and lonely descent.

And then a leap through time – to a month later, at the Baltoro Glacier in the Karakoram range. We’re on the Black Tooth, a peak about 6,200m above sea level. Our second bivouac in the face. The rock beneath us is hard. What an incredible sky! The Milky Way, the silhouette of the surrounding Karakoram range. This would be the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, if only we weren’t so exposed here. Truly impressive!

The previous day: we’re on this 55-60° sloping ice face – moving unroped. Tired, uncertain. The ice is poor – every tool placement has to be perfect. Positioning our crampons as accurately as possible. Whatever you do, just don’t slip! Completely focused, in the moment. Hoping we don’t get cramp... Then, sweet relief as we climb onto the ridge.

Summit day: we reach the highest point of the Black Tooth at around noon. There’s no euphoria on reaching the summit. We’re far too tired for that. It’s snowing, and visibility is dreadful. We have to get off this mountain. That’s all we can think of! My eyes follow Martin as he abseils down into the depths, into the great white nothing. The fog is so thick that we can’t see much at all. Are we still going the right way? Then suddenly, for about a minute, the fog clears. We see the huge serac beneath us. What a stroke of luck! We’re going the right way.

On the descent, darkness is falling. Suddenly, I feel a strong tug on my harness. Shocked, I peer down at Martin, a few metres below me. He looks back at me with big, stunned eyes. The piton he’d driven in had popped out, just as he was about to start abseiling! We’d both have fallen to our deaths. We were saved by a fraction of a second. “Bloody hell, Martin, that was close! We’ve got to stay focused!” I say, knowing full well he’s thinking exactly the same thing.

Arrival at base camp. Half past one, the middle of the night. I never thought we’d manage this today. It’s like I’ve been in a trance these past few hours. But now we’ve made it. An enormous sense of relief spreads through our bodies. We really did it!

blog-3qKzh56ceNm5ZS blog-3qKzh56ceNm5ZS
blog-19fpPmNPwlXDbw blog-19fpPmNPwlXDbw
blog-2nSdJf2toHL6TR blog-2nSdJf2toHL6TR
blog-4y9z0v3IsCQ2Zh blog-4y9z0v3IsCQ2Zh