Simone Moro and Joby Owgyns expedition to Batura II has come to a sudden end: Joby was injured by an avalanche whilst descending from Batokshi Peak on Saturday. Evacuated, he is currently recovering in Gilgit.
We summited Batokshi Peak (6050m) on Saturday after three days climbing in Alpine style without roping up, on difficult and dangerous terrain.
We began descending another route, unfamiliar to us. The climb down was long and exhausting; using piolet-traction on delicate and ice and dangerous snow. Some vertical sections demanded maximum concentration. Due to the high risk of avalanche we had to be fast, extremely fast, but the difficulties were always high.
Joby: "Simone... I've been hit by an avalanche
Unfortunately Joby was behind me and he did his best to be efficient and focused - he climbed down well but taking his time. Waiting for him under seracs and cornice would have been suicide... I was in base camp drinking cold juice and making a sat phone call when Joby called me on the radio: Simone... I've been hit by an avalanche...I survived by a miracle but... I think I broke my ankle and hip and I am seriously injured...
Simone and the cooks to the rescue
It took me some seconds to realize the meaning of those words...I immediately started the rescue, helped by Didar (the cook) and Karim (cook assistant). During the long and painful (for Joby) walk down on the moraine to base camp, I did some sat phone calls to our agency, Adventure Tour Pakistan, requesting a helicopter evacuation.
Today (Sunday) at 12:20 an army helicopter arrived at base camp and took Joby and me to Gilgit... Joby had difficulties to move his leg and to walk, but the first medical exam suggested that probably nothing is broken. Nevertheless, he must rest and his ankle and hip will take a few weeks to recover.
Thanks God no one lost his life
The expedition is over, with 2 summits reached and one new route, but our principal goal has failed due to bad luck. We are happy because all that is missing is the climbing goal (summiting Batura II), and not a life...
I would like to thank Ashraf Aman and his staff Essar and Neiknam for the efficient "diplomatic" effort to get us a military helicopter. Unique and great job! I also thank God for getting on our side in the accident
Simone's search for a different climb landed him on Batura II (7762 meters) - the highest of the unclimbed peaks. Located in Pakistans Western Karakorum in the Batura Muztagh group, Batura II is also called Peak 31 or Hunza Kunji. There have been four attempts to climb the summit.
"There are a few fore-summits (or satellite summits) of mountains with higher altitudes than Batura II that havent been climbed, for example Lhotse Middle East (8376 m) or Nuptse Central (7815 m), but these summits are not considered independent and autonomous. The Southern Face of Batura II, the side which will be the object of our attempt, is definitely more difficult, but less dangerous compared to the Western Face."
Simone Moro, 37, has summited Mount Everest (twice), Broad Peak, Cho Oyu, Shisha Pangma (winter), Lhotse (twice) and 5 peaks over 7000 meters. He has accomplished the first winter climb of Marble Wall 6400m (Tien Shan), a 24-hour climb on Fitz Roys West Face (Patagonia), and many other climbs around the world. Simone and Piotr Morawski summited Shisha Pangma Friday January 14, 2005 at 1:15 pm (local) after a fast 5 hour climb in very strong winds. It was the first (real) winter ascent on a 8000er since 1988, and the first winter climb on Shisha Pangma.
Adventurer and cameraman Joby Ogwyn completed the Seven Summits (Carstensz Pyramid version) in 2000, at that time becoming the youngest person to achieve the goal. He has summited Everest (free climbing the SE ridge), Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu, and attempted K2 and Broad Peak.
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