(By Raheel Adnan) After success on both Gasherbrum peaks, the Czech Gasherbrum Expedition ended on tragic noted. It’s reported that Zdenek Hruby died on descent after negotiating a virgin route on Southwest Face of Gasherbrum I. The 57years old Zdenek Hruby was one of the leading climbers from Czech Republic and also the president of Czech Mountaineering Federation.
Four members Czech Gasherbrum team consisted of Marek Holecek, Zdenek Hruby, Marek Novotny and Tomas Petrecek. While Marek Novotny and Tomas Petrecek attempted GI via normal route and later climbed GII, the objective of Marek Holecek and Zdenek Hruby was more challenging. They were trying to complete the new route on SW Face of GI, which they attempted in 2009. That year, they had to abort the summit bid at 7500m as Zdenek developed some health problems - as Marek Holecek recalls, “(it was a) ruptured gastric ulcer and practically he couldn’t move or absorb water let alone the food”. Holecek accompanied him and both of them made it to BC, safely. Zdenek believed, "It is certain that without Marek, I wouldn’t have been here".
Together Marek Holecek and Zdenek Hruby started a project “Never Stop Exploring”. In spring this year, they achieved the first ascent of the North Face of Talung (7,349 m), in alpine style. Their next target was first ascent of SW Face of GI, for which they arrived at Base Camp around mid of July. By the end of July, they were acclimatized and waiting for a weather window to kick off the summit climb.
Lidovky.cz has quoted Marek Holecek, "It was a moment of inattention. Zdenek slipped and fell about a thousand meters down into the crevasses". Message on Marcek Holecek's Facebook page reads, "Unfortunately confirm the tragic message, Zdenek when descending from the GI was swept away by an avalanche:-(. Marek should be OK on the way back, this time between BC and Islamabad."
Earlier on August 9th, Tomas Petrecek's home team reported that Tomas and Marek Novotny has made it to the top of GII, their second 8000er of the season. Previously, they summited GI via normal route on July 28th.
Press Release Alpine Club of Pakistan (Karrar Haidri, ExplorersWeb Pakistan)
President of Czech Mountaineering Federation dies in an accident on Gasherbrum I
It is notified with regret that an accident of Czech Republic Expedition to 8,068 metre high Gasherbrum I occurred on 9th August 2013 resulting death of 57 years old famous Czech mountaineer and current President of Czech Mountaineering Federation Mr Zdenek Hruby. It has been confirmed from the Base Camp of the mountain that Zdenek Hruby accompanied by his partner Marek Holecek were attempting to climb the mountain from a new route via South West side for the past several days. However, on failure to make their headway to the summit from the new route, the two men team decided to quit their attempt and descend down. On 9th August the Base Camp team could watch them coming down through binoculars, however they noticed that suddenly one climber disappeared. After sometime Mr Marek Holecek announced that Zdenek Hruby had fallen down, and after reaching him Holecek announced that Hruby had died.
After consultations with Zdenek Hruby’s family in Czech republic, it was decided by the team to bury his body in a crevasse below Camp I. It may be mentioned that Zdenek Hruby had ascent of eight peaks out of the total fourteen peaks rising above 8,000 metres to his credit including Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrums I and II. It is also mentioned that two other members of the Expedition namely Tomas Petrecek and Marek Novotny had earlier climbed Gasherbrum I on 28th July through normal route.
President ACP has condoled death of the famous Czech mountaineer and President Mr Zdenek Hruby with the Czech Mountaineering Federation and the bereaved family.
Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
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