Maciej Berbeka during the first summit attempt in February after turning back at approx. 7,500 m.
Image by Tomasz Kowalski courtesy Polish Winter Broad Peak 2012-13, SOURCE
Tomasz Kowalski after the retreat in February.
Image by Maciej Berbeka courtesy Polish Winter Broad Peak 2012-13, SOURCE
Winter Broad Peak search: Hurricane at 8000m and 1975 video

Posted: Mar 08, 2013 02:08 pm EST
(Newsdesk) ‎Artur Hajzer updated on March 8, "There is no new information about the two missing. According to forecasts, the weather broke down completely. It is raining; there is no visibility; the base is in fog. It's snowing. A very strong wind is blowing and at the height of 8000m, hurricane strength of 100 km per hour is blowing. The conditions are extremely difficult, even at the base."

SPOT and helicopter

Due to repeated questions to the home team concerning GPS locators and a possibility to use a rescue helicopter, Hajzer said the following:

1. SPOT locator:
– the expedition was equipped with a SPOT localizer and Tomasz Kowalski always carried it with him.
- However, it was lost prior to summit attempt and we informed about it on one of the social portals.
- During the attempt, the team did not have any localizers.
- SPOT fails to work properly in high-altitude conditions and thus, its usefulness should not be overestimated.

2. Search, possible helicopter rescue operations
– in Pakistan it is possible to organize a helicopter flight by means of army helicopters.
- In Pakistan they may fly up to 6,700 m and may lift an injured person on a rope from approximately 6,400 m (it happened once in history).
- In the area of Broad Peak the helicopters cannot land above the base camp at 4,950 m and it was pointless to use helicopters to search the terrain as the climbers (Karim Hayyat and Artur Małek) had better ways to do it on March 6. Karim’s search reached up to 7,700 m and the entire route including all the details are visible from the base camp.
- A telescope magnifies all the details. Using a helicopter does not change too much.
- Summoning a helicopter and its start are not that easy and are hardly immediate. A long procedure precedes the start.
- The weather on March 7th does not allow for flight and will not allow it during the next days.

Video Polish Broad Peak 1975

Info with the video as on the YouTube page:
The Polish assault on the Himalayas began on the 2nd of July 1939, when a team of four climbers put the white-and-red Polish flag on the virgin summit of Nanda Devi East (7434 meters above sea level).
That is how Poles began the bold charge on Asian seven- and eight-thousanders. They were the first to climb many peaks in winter; as for mountains which had already been conquered, Poles plotted out new routes, or climbed without oxygen, or extremely quickly - even on one day.
Jerzy Kukuczka lost the race for the first Crown of the Himalayas only "by one pitch". His female compatriots promoted women's Himalayan climbing, thus bringing feminism into the mountains. Polish mountaineers often had to pay the ultimate price for their unique experiences, but they never quit.
"The Polish Himalayas" is a story of how people from the lowland country cut in half by the Vistula took possession of the highest mountains in the world.



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On March 5th, 2013, Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Artur Małek and Tomasz Kowalski bagged the first Winter Broad Peak (8047m) in the Karakorum, Pakistan. They summited between 17h30 to 18h00 local time.

After the summit Artur Małek and Adam Bielecki went down to Camp 4 at an altitude of 7400m, while Tomasz Kowalski and Maciej Berbeka bivouacked (without a tent) on the pass at 7900m. Maciej started going down with Tomasz staying at the bivouac. On March 6th Tomasz Kowalski (27) and Maciej Berbeka (58) were officially declared missing. Debrief of March 5 & 6 read here.

Artur Hajzer is the Program Manager of the Polish Himalayan Winter 2010 - 2015 Project.
Veteran climber Krzysztof Wielicki is the Manager on Broad Peak.
Shaheen Baig, Amin Ullah and Karim Hayyat are Pakistani climbers/HAPs


Broad Peak links:

Polish on FB

Polish winter climbing news

Polish 2012-13 Broad Peak route

Winter expedition of Polish Mountaineering Association to Broad Peak - topo of the route to the summit

Altitude Pakistan

Broad Peak weather

Polish support agency: Jasmine Tours Pakistan

6 previous Winter Broad Peak attempts

Previous

Winter Broad Peak search: Two Pakistanis on the mountain

Winter Nanga Parbat: Joel Wischnewski search February 21st & 22nd

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Mountaineering, the next generation: Artur Hajzer speaks from Lhotse

Mount Everest and Lhotse: summit pushes and speed attempt brewing

Polish debrief of a different K2 season

K2 summit pics and video: Polish climbers on a roll



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