David Göttler is an IFMGA mountain guide and professional athlete who splits his time between Spain and Chamonix, France. He has been on a massive 31 expeditions and is currently camped out at the South Face of Shisha Pangma with Ueli Steck, waiting for a weather window to attempt a bold new route. He kindly took a little time to answer my questions.
1. What is your current project? And how did it come about?
I just arrived at Shisha Pangma BC on the south side! It is so great to be here. Ueli Steck and myself are aiming for a new route on the beautiful south face! If it works out a dream would become true….we will see!
The seed of that dream was put into my head around 2 years ago. Ueli spent some time in Chamonix and while training together we started to talk about this dream and idea.
2. You have been on 31 expeditions, what keeps taking you back to the greater ranges?
There are so many things which always take me back to these trips. Starting from the traveling in these so different places of our world to being together with friends, sharing these moments and inhaling that freedom and peace the nature around us gives to you.
And of course the climbing and taking the challenge the mountains and the thin air provides.
3. When did you decide to become a guide and how was the process of applying and training?
That was pretty early. After finishing high school I discovered the profession of mountain guiding and I thought that it could be something I would like, at least more than going to university. After finishing my guide exams at the age of 23 I enjoyed my work – which means being always outside, showing other people my passion and the beauty of the mountains.
4. You are guiding less these days, how is life as a full time climber?
I would love to do more guiding. On the other hand I call my self very lucky to have at the moment the freedom due to my sponsors and partners I work with, to be able to train and climb a lot for my self. To be able to develop as a professional climber was never something I planned or had in mind but as the chance is here I try to make the best out of it.
And I enjoy that of course!
5. What is your favourite aspect of the outdoors? Rock, ice, mixed, running etc?
The mix is my choices. All is somehow contacted. For example over the last few years I started running a lot and starting to train with a coach. And this training has greatly effected my performance while in the mountains. I love the variety of climbing or mountaineering.
6. How has training impacted your performance?
Even though I always did some kind of training, I feel now a huge difference from working with a coach. It gets a different quality and intensity which I find hard to reach without some external influence. I feel my endurance is way bigger than I had a year before for example.
7. You’re testing out cutting edge new equipments, are you able to talk about any of it?
Cutting edge sounds a bit to much, but yes, we always have some prototypes with us or something to test. But often these are little small things, which sum up in the end to make a huge change to some item or piece of gear. And of course it is fun and cool to test these things and to get involved in the development of new stuff.
8. Do you have a favourite mountain or route in the Alps?
Not really. In general I love the Mont Blanc area. It is such a great playground. But the cool thing in the alps is that you can travel within a day to so many different places! That is unique.
9. Do you still have any bucket list objectives in the Alps?
A lot! These list never get done…which is great! In general, again, it is such a good thing on mountaineering that whenever you reach a summit you immediately see the next one.
10. Anything you’d like to add?
Go outdoors, have fun and be safe!