"I have to declare Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski dead."
March 9, 2013 7:01 PM Subscribe
posted by edeezy (20 comments total)
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On March 5 a team of four Polish climbers completed the first winter ascent
of Broad Peak
, one of the world's 8000m mountains
. On the descent two of the climbers, Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski, ran into problems and were forced to spend the night at 7900m. Despite efforts to establish radio contact and locate the climbers the next morning they were declared missing on March 6. On March 8 expedition leader Krzysztof Wielicki reported
that Berbeka and Kowalski were dead and that the team was heading home.
According to the Polish Winter Himalaism program
(link in Polish) Kowalski was suffering from fatigue and had trouble breathing, and damaged his crampons in a fall. He could see Berbeka, but his condition was unknown. A flashlight was seen on the mountain during the night, and the next morning a cook saw someone (thought to be Berbeka) near the crevasses located at 7700m. Karim Hayyat, a Pakistani mountaineer assisting the expedition, managed to climb to the crevasses but saw no signs of the climbers and was forced to turn back.
Berbeka had previously made the first winter ascents of two other eight-thousanders, Manaslu
and Cho Oyu
. 12 of the eight-thousanders have been summited in winter, 9 of the first ascents by teams of Polish climbers and another by a pair of climbers, one Polish and one Italian.
Two of the eight-thousanders, K2
and Nanga Parbat
, remain unclimbed in winter.