An extraordinary ascent:
Everest without oxygen for David Goettler

On May 21, Julbo athlete David Göttler climbed to the summit of Mount Everest for the first time. After two aborted attempts in 2019 and 2021, the 43-year-old alpinist reached the "roof of the world" without bottled oxygen and without Sherpas. It was already his sixth eight-thousand-meter summit success. We spoke to him about the experience.

How does it feel to have finally climbed the "roof of the world" on your third attempt?

It feels incredible. Especially given the background of having put so much energy, passion and time into this project. And then it's a whole other dimension emotionally, because I've had to abandon two attempts before. That makes it even more valuable. In addition, I was particularly lucky to catch a day when I was actually alone from the south summit to the summit, which is an absolute exception on Mount Everest.

Julbo - David goettler

What was the particular challenge of this expedition?

In principle, there were two main points. First, it was important not to fall into the trap of comparing the current climb with previous attempts. That is, not to get nervous if, for example, a section takes a little longer than the previous attempt. The important thing in mountaineering was and is to focus completely on the here and now. I worked on this with my mental coach. The other challenge lies in my style of climbing the mountain without oxygen and without the support of Sherpas. It's a different sport compared to 98% of the other climbers there, who are all on oxygen and Sherpas. Timings and acclimatization phases are different and it is important not to compare yourself with the other climbers, but to find your own time window.

Why did you decide to climb the summit of Mount Everest without bottled oxygen and without the support of Sherpas, that is, all by yourself?

For me, this is the only conceivable way to climb 8000m peaks. The challenge lies precisely in the thin air at altitude and only in this way can I face this challenge. I had never used an oxygen mask while climbing. And I love climbing in a team, but only with equal partners. In general, I would like to make high-altitude mountaineering above 8000 meters a little more transparent.

Julbo - David goettler

What were the conditions like and were there any special incidents?

The weather was gigantically good. But I had only a very small weather window and was anxious until the last second whether I could start or not. The weather forecasts in the camp were very different, but finally I dared and the wind calmed down a bit, so I had perfect conditions on the ascent. Only on the descent did it close up a bit. That's the bigger challenge, after all; here you have to set clear goals and follow a plan. I had that and of course I really constantly weighed up whether my strength was still enough to return safely.

Julbo - David goettler

Let's move on to the topic of equipment and sun protection. What are the most important criteria for you here?

When it comes to equipment, there can be no doubt about the quality of the sunglasses, ski goggles and especially in the choice of lenses, which is why I have trusted Julbo for many years. Two aspects in particular are important to me: Do the products work well with the rest of my equipment? And they must not fog up under any circumstances. That would be an absolute disaster. For this expedition, I therefore opted for the ULTIMATE COVER with self-tinting REACTIV lenses in a protection range of 2 to 4 for. Currently, these sunglasses are certainly the non-plus-ultra for lightweight glacier goggles on the market. In addition, the CYRIUS ski goggles with a REACTIV lens with the sun protection range of 1 to 3. Self-tinting lenses are the perfect choice for me, because I can wear them at any time and in any weather. They not only provide protection from the sun and wind, but also from the often underestimated danger of snow blindness.

Julbo - David goettler

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