(K2Climb.net) Members of the Austrian team who summited Broad Peak earlier this month are back at home, shaken by the death of expedition leader Markus Kronthaler. Markus team mates have published a press release to set the record straight on what happened, but mostly to publicly thank a few climbers present at the spot for their help.
The Austrians' sent a special word of thanks to Spaniard Jorge Egocheaga and Polish Piotr Morawski who forgot their own immediate plans to help Sepp Bachmair, another team member who otherwise might have perished as well. Piotr gave up his own summit bid (he would make it one day later); Jorge ran to help despite having achieved a speed summit in 21 hours two days earlier.
Here is a translation, from German, of the teams <b>press release:</b>
Markus Kronthaler set off from Broad Peaks BC (4960 m) on July 4, at 6.30am and reached C2 at 6250m later that day. Climbing mates Sepp Bachmair and Peter Ressmann joined him some hours later. On July 5 the three of them moved up to C3. At 11:15 pm that same day they leave their tent on a summit push.
<b>Sepp and Markus bivouac before the summit</b>
July 6, Ressmann reached BPs foresummit by 5:00 pm, and then the main summit (1km away) by 6:00pm. ON the way back, he met Bachmair and Kronthaler, who had found shelter in a snow cave at 7900m. They wanted to bivouac for the night there, in order to reach the summit on the next day.
Ressmann proceeded down, picking up a pair of skis he had left in C4 (7500m) and thus reaching C3 for the night. On the following morning, he would ski down all the way to BC.
Meanwhile, Kronthaler and Bachmair set off from their bivouac place towards the summit at 7:00 am in the morning of July 7. Bachmair topped out at about 3:00pm; Markus joined him a half hour later. The two climbers started descending around 4:30 pm.
<b>Markus last night at the foresummit</b>
Not far from the summit, Markus condition seriously deteriorated the two climbers were progressing at an extremely slow pace. Sepp tried his best to help his mate down, but night fell as the climbers approached the foresummit.
Markus wouldnt survive that night. He died in the arms of Sepp by 6:00am on July 8, out of exhaustion and dehydration.
Bachmair continued descending alone. He passed the foresummit and by 10:00 am, at 7800m, he met Polish Piotr Pustelnik, Piotr Morawski, and Slovak Peter Hamor.
<b>Morawski and Egocheaga to the rescue</b>
Morawski aborted his own summit bid in order to help Sepp back to C3. As the Polish communicated the events, Spanish climber and Medical Doctor Jorge Egocheaga ran up from BC. Jorge, exhausted after a fast ascent from BC to the summit and back in 21 hours still managed to rush up to 7200m in order to take care of Sepp from that point. Bachmair was not only dehydrated and exhausted he also suffered from frostbite in his hands and feet. Jorge treated him with medicines and helped him down to BC, which they reached on July 9 at 4:00 pm. One day later Sepp was evacuated to Skardu in a helicopter.
We would like to thank Jorge Egocheaga, Piotr Morawski, as well as other teams for their help and their joint-effort.
(Oesterreichische Broad Peak/Chogolisa-Expedition 2006)
<i>Both Piotr Morawski and Jorge Egocheaga have been described as exceptionally strong climbers.
Jorge has climbed Everest without O2, GI, Cho Oyu, Nanga Parbat, Shisha Pangma from the south face, Manaslu, and Broad Peak.
Morawski achieved with Simone Moro the first winter climb on Shisha Pangma on January, 2005.
Markus Kronthaler was the leader of a nine-member Austrian team hoping to retrace Hermann Buhl's steps on Broad Peak and Chogolisa. </i>
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