GORE-TEX Experience Tour: Winter ascent of the Matterhorn: Daniel Bouskila wins alpine dream with Robert Jasper
On 15 and 16 January, at the bottom of the legendary north face of the Eiger, the casting phase of a quite unique project took place. As part of the GORE-TEX Experience Tour, participants from all over Europe had applied to realize their own individual mountain dreams with Robert Jasper, one of the world’s leading extreme climbers. Four candidates successfully qualified for the casting phase in the Swiss Alps: Tomasz Cudejko from Poland, Rebecca Pansa from Germany, Trevor Long from Spain and Daniel Bouskila from England. In the end the winner was Daniel Bouskila. At the end of March he will be realising his mountain dream with Robert Jasper: a winter ascent of the Matterhorn.
The casting phase began with an indoor climbing session in Interlaken – unfortunately only for three of the four candidates as Rebecca Pansa had to cancel at the last minute for health reasons. Afterwards the candidates went straight from the indoor climbing gym to their hotel in Grindelwald. Not, however, without catching a glimpse of the Eiger in the reddish glow of the evening sun. That would be where they were to be put to the challenge on the Sunday morning: rock and ice climbing on the legendary north face of the Eiger. Robert Jasper, who probably knows the north face better than any other athlete, gave them helpful tips on how to deal with thin ice and difficult rock pitches. With his help all three candidates managed to complete this highly demanding phase.
Beaming with happiness at having mastered the climb, they made the descent back down into the valley on snowshoes. When they got down to the bottom it was time for Robert to make a difficult decision. “They were all great. They supported each other and worked extremely well together. In terms of their climbing skills and experience, there’s not much between Tomasz, Trevor and Daniel. Nevertheless, Daniel’s mountain dream, a winter ascent of the Matterhorn, is quite simply the most realistic one.”
Daniel couldn’t believe his ears. “Wow, I’m going to have to start training! The casting was a fantastic experience. We all got on really well and I hope I’ll stay in contract with Trevor and Tomasz. Initially I was rather nervous about meeting Robert. After all, he’s quite a legend! In fact, he’s totally uncomplicated. I’m looking forward to our ascent of the Matterhorn.”
The casting was part of the GORE-TEX Experience Tour which brings young outdoor enthusiasts from across Europe together with experts and top athletes from the professional scene. The various projects are being publicised and accompanied on the facebook page of the GORE-TEX Experience Tour. Anyone interested in taking part can also apply there.