(Newsdesk) 25 years ago Maciej Berbeka attempted Broad Peak (8047m) in Winter for the first time. Today 25 years ago, on March 6th, 1988 he reached his highest point then on the mountain, Rocky Summit, and turned around.
Yesterday he summited Broad Peak in Winter; today, March 6th, 2013, he is reported missing.
Latest news is that Adam Bielecki, Amin Ullah and Shaheen Baig reached Base Camp at 9:30pm local time, reported Artur Hajzer. Krzysztof Wielicki, mountain team leader, ordered Artur Malek and Karim Hayyat to leave Camp 4 and to descend.
According to Romuald Bielecki, Adam's father, Arthur, Adam and the HAPs should come down today. "This is necessary, because tomorrow morning the weather window closes and the wind will be blowing at a speed of about 80 km/h. They cannot wait any longer. We still have another sleepless night."
No news from Tomasz Kowalski and Maciej Berbeka.
A debrief of statements by the leaders, Artur Hajzer and Krzysztof Wielicki (translated from Polish)
Four climbers conquered the peak at around 17h00 -18h00 on March 5, and without delay began their descent. The idea was to go down as low as possible before dark. The last to descend was Tomasz Kowalski. In front of him was Maciej Berbeka.
For about 7-8 hours they climbed up and down and covered the stretch almost to the pass, which should have been done faster.
Adam Bielecki reached Camp 4 at 7400m at about 21h00 on March 5. Artur Małek reached Camp 4 about 2 am, March 6. Tomasz Kowalski and Maciej Berbeka camped out (without a tent) at the pass at 7900m.
Tomasz reported to Wielicki he had difficulty breathing and felt weak. He was given instructions to take medication.
During the last communication at 6:30 am on March 6, Tomasz reported more difficulties. He said that he could see Maciej. Just before dawn, Wielicki could see a headlamp on the pass through his telescope from Base Camp, at an altitude of 4950 m.
Since 6.30 am local time, there was no contact with the missing climbers. Maciej did not use the radio for unknown reasons. Each of the participants had a radio.
At dawn on March 6, Karim Hayyat set out from Camp 2 at 6200m to about 7700 m and did not encountered any evidence of the climbers. He retreated to C4. The two climbers were from that time officially missing.
On March 6th Amin Ullah and Shaheen Baig climbed up from BC. Shaheen reached a C2 and Amin C3.
The weather and visibility on March 5 and 6 were good. It was about minus 35 degrees Celsius at 8000 m in the night and minus 27 during the day. No wind blew. All the time Krzysztof Wielicki scanned the mountain through a telescope from BC.
According to forecasts, the weather tomorrow, March 7th, will deteriorate. Everyone should be below 7000 m by then. From a height of 7000 m to the base there is a non-stop stretch of ropes by which the descent to the base can be made "easy, fast and safe, even in difficult conditions".
Thank you to the contributors sending news through to ExplorersWeb. One of them, Jan Komorowski, studied together with Tomasz when they were at University, "This is a disaster... I just don't know what to say. And Maciej is a real hero of winter himalaism." Jan added, "This is the worst day in our climbing history since Piotr Morawski died 4 years ago on Dhaulaghiri."
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
Broad Peak weather
Polish support agency: Jasmine Tours Pakistan
First Winter Broad Peak: Maciej and Tomasz reportedly missing
Winter Nanga Parbat: Joel Wischnewski search February 21st & 22nd
Winter permits, calendar climbs and more: 2004 ExWeb series revisit
Winter 8000ers: Statistics recall
Himalaya winter games: list of expeditions is up
Best of ExplorersWeb 2012 Awards Winner: Gasherbrum I First Winter Ascent
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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