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It's hard to put it in words, Dodo Kopold wrote right after returning from Shisha Pangma in April. The wound is still fresh and it's hard not to get emotional. (Click to enlarge).
"For the past few months Marek and I had been like twins. We trained together, spent a month climbing in Chamonix, and planned to do further expeditions together in the future. Since we started climbing together, Marek had improved a lot; I was positive that we would be equal partners on this expedition. He was amazingly fit and, most important, had a very strong will. (Click to enlarge).
The last 50m to the summit took me about 30 minutes. I did not stay long as it was very windy. I quickly descended in Marek's footsteps. At a fixed lines anchor-point at 7600m I found his ice axe and no further footprints (Click to enlarge).
"On our summit day, I waited for Marek about 200 meters below the summit. He was feeling strong and motivated. He said: 'Dodo, promise me we will make it to the top. I will follow you. But if I can't keep up then you must go on; I will go down and wait for you in C2'. (Click to enlarge).
Marek must have stumbled and fell while changing from one icy fixed line to another. The terrain was icy and steep. He must have gathered speed quickly and probably fell over the rock precipice near C2. I searched for traces around C2 and found his torn glove, and what seemed like traces of an attempt to stop from falling. (Click to enlarge).
Although we will never know why he decided to turn down, I admire him for being able to make such decision. Maybe it is hard to imagine, but the summit was so close! We had climbed over 2,000 meters, endured two cold bivouacs there were just a few meters left to go, maybe an hour of climbing. (Click to enlarge).
We separated. In the Himalayas everybody climbs at his own pace. The climbers from one team may climb a hundred or two hundred meters from each other and it doesn't mean they didn't climb together. Marek was a bit slower than me, but I always waited for him." (Click to enlarge).
A small cairn under Shisha Pangma commemorates the tragic death of Marek Hudák. He will live forever in our hearts and memories. All images courtesy of Dodo Kopold's website (click to enlarge).
He came from nowhere: In 2005 Slovak climber Dodo Kopold and his friend Gabo Emarik opened a major new route on the southwest side of great Trango Tower. The next year the two young guns came back for an Uli Biaho, Shipton and Cats Ear triple header. This year, Dodo changed the technical climbs for 4 8000ers. The quest has already cost him one friend, Marek Hudak. Image of Gabo Emarik (left) and Dodo Kopold (right) after the 54 hour ice climb on Uli Biaho last summer, courtesy of the climbers ..
Now the young climber aims for a new route on K2s west face together with fellow Slovak Peter Hamor and Polish Piotr Morawski.

Dodo Kopolds Shisha Pangma debrief: Unhealed wounds

Posted: Jun 29, 2007 07:10 pm EDT

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(MountEverest.net) Previously making his mark on lower but highly technical peaks, Dodo Kopold is now entering the death zone. Currently on his way to Nanga Parbat and K2, in just one season, Dodo has experienced the joy of summiting 8000+ and the pain of losing a friend. The moment he stepped on Shishas summit; Dodo's mate Marek Hudák fell to his death only meters below. <cutoff><b>2007 Pakistan dream team</b>March 31, Kopold made the first summit on Cho Oyu this year. Days later he topped out Shisha Pangma via its south side. With 2, 8000ers down - now...

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