Having already conquered 5 of the 14 different 8000m peaks on Earth, David Goettler is one of the most admired and technically skilled alpinists in the world.
He has reached the summits of Gasherbrum II (8035m), Broad Peak (8051m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Lhotse (8516m) and Makalu (8481m), and has even ascended 8200m on K2 (8611m). Most impressive of all, however, is the fact that David does all this unaided and without the support of supplementary oxygen. This is described as the purest form of alpinism and is incidentally one of the most difficult. Indeed, just this year he and fellow climber Kilian Jornet attempted to summit Everest without bottled oxygen but made the decision to turn back just before 8000m. Suffice to say, it’s no small task.
What’s also unique about Goettler’s mountaineering style is how quickly he climbs. He’s fast and light on his feet and has previously summited the likes of Shishapangma’s South West Face (8013m) in just 13 hours. It’s partly thanks to modern training techniques that this is possible, but according to David, it’s also much to do with recent innovations in alpine apparel such as The North Face’s Advanced Mountain Kit (AMK).
Otherwise known as ‘the pinnacle of mountaineering’, the AMK is a six-part layering system that’s been field tested by pros such as David, as well as athletes Hervé Barmasse, Hansjörg Auer, David Lama, Andres Marin and Jess Rosskelley. It’s significantly lighter than most alpine kits, and features some incredible new technologies to help athletes reach summits at speeds never before thought possible.
Related: Mid And Base Layer Reviews
In between his adventuring and high-alpine pursuits, we got the chance to speak to David about what The North Face’s new AMK collection means to him, how he helped develop and test the kit, and what the future holds for mountaineering.