Hermann Buhl was born in Innsbruck, Austria, and had taken up climbing in the Alps as a teenager first as a hobby, then as an obsession. In winter, he'd walk around with snowballs in his hands in order to toughen them up for his next trip. He eventually became a mountaineering guide, and then in 1953, Buhl heard about the mountain that had already killed 31 climbers (with and no successful summits) and said, "Yep, that's the one. I'm climbing that."
"I'm not even going to get up."
And ... Fight!
The expedition's main problem was the fact that it was 1953. At that time, there had been very few attempts or successful climbs of mountains that high, so no one knew much about the lethal effects of the thin air at those altitudes. Climbers, for instance, didn't know that future generations would label everything 26,000 feet and higher "The Death Zone" because the human body literally can't survive for more than a couple of days.
After suffering through bad weather and organization, Hermann Buhl and the rest of the summit party got the green light to ascend to a camp at 22,600 feet. From there they would climb to the summit the next day. They woke at 1 a.m., but Buhl's partner wasn't feeling well, so Buhl decided that was fine, he would just go alone.
"Just going to expand mankind's horizons, get some coffee on the brew."