Karakorum winter 2013. First winter Broad peak climb by Polish team.
8 March, 2013 Krzysztof Wielicki, Artur Malek, Adam Bielecki and all three HAPs, Shaheen Baig, Amin Ullah and Karim Hayyat, along with other staff of Base Camp started trekking through Baltoro Glacier. Expedition is over.
Krzysztof Wielicki: "Having regard to all the circumstances, the identified conditions, my experience and the history of Himalayan mountaineering, as well as knowledge of high altitude physiology and medicine, and even after additional consultations with doctors and co-organized expeditions in Poland, we must conclude that Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski are dead."
"Given the time that has elapsed since the last contact, the height at which it happened, the state in which they already were, the current appalling weather conditions and all the other factors I have decided to end the expedition."
"We pack the base and began our descent down. The march through Baltoro Glacier will take about 5 days. Back to Poland occurs around March 20."
"Due to the lack of power sources from now on we can be in contact no more by phone or e-mail and there will not be any news from us until about March 15."
7 March, 2013 1 p.m. local time. We would like to confirm that early in the morning two Pakistani climbers - Amin Ullah and Shaheen Baig - have set off from the base camp towards camp 3 at 7,000 m. Their task is to observe the summit cone from another perspective than it is possible from the base camp. Both of them are going to return to the base camp for a night. Source: http://polishwinterhimalaism.pl/
12-30 a.m. There is still no contact with two missing climbers. Artur Malek and Karim Hayyat reached the base camp.
6 March, 20139-30 p.m. local time. Adam Bielecki, Amin Ullah and Shaheen Baig have reached the base camp. Artur Malek and Karim Hayyat started to descend in the evening from camp 4 at 7,600 m as ordered by the leader. They are below camp 3 at 7,000 m.
8 p.m. local time. Today, i.e. 6th March, more information has reached us from Krzysztof Wielicki, the leader of the expedition, and we may organized the events from the last twenty-four hours.
Four climbers conquered the mountain between 5:00 and 6:00 PM and immediately started to descend as it was getting late. They wanted to descend to the lowest possible altitude before dark. Tomasz Kowalski was descending as the last one. He could see Maciej Berbeka in front of him. Although all participants had radio-telephones, the contact was established only with Tomasz Kowalski and Artur Malek (Adam had frequency problems, whereas Maciej did not use his radio for unknown reasons). Descent speed of Tomasz and Maciej after they had reached the summit was extremely low. Till 2:00 AM on 6th March – after 7-8 hours of marching and climbing downwards – they almost reached the pass; it normally takes approximately an hour.
Adam Bielecki reached camp 4 at 7,400 m at approx. 9:00 PM on 5th March.
Artur Malek reached camp 4 at approx. 2:00 AM on 6th March.
Tomasz Kowalski reported to Krzysztof Wielicki, who was in the base camp, problems with breathing and general fatigue and was to take drugs according to the instructions. While descending from Rocky Summit he fell and one of his crampons loosened. At 6:30 AM on 6th March he reported that he had problems with fixing the crampon. Moreover, he mentioned that he had seen Maciej Berbeka. Right before dawn, a headlight at 4,950 m was seen from the base camp. In the morning one of the base camp workers (a cook) saw (?) a figure above the pass in the vicinity of crevasses (it could be Maciej).
Since 6:30 AM local time there is no contact with the missing climbers. The last talk with Maciej Berbeka took place at the summit at 6:00 PM. Maciej probably talked via Tomasz’s radio.
At dawn on 6th March Karim Hayyat set off from camp 2 at 6,200 m and at approximately 1:00 PM reached to the crevasses according to Wielicki’s report. We estimated that the altitude was 7,700 m. He did not see any traces, he saw all details of the route till the pass and retreated to camp 4. Since that time the two climbers are officially declared as missing.
Weather and visibility on 5th and 6th March have been good. It is approximately -36 degrees Celsius at 8,000 m at night and -27 degrees Celsius during the day. There is no wind. Krzysztof Wielicki keeps on observing the face from the base camp by means of binoculars.
Artur Malek and Karim Hayyat stayed for one more night in camp 4. Their task is to look out for the missing climbers. In the morning they will have to start to descend to the base camp. The weather conditions will deteriorate around noon on 7th March. From 7,000 m downwards there are fixed ropes, so the descent is easier, faster and safer even in more difficult conditions.
At approximately 2:00 AM on 6th March, Shaheen Baig and Amin Ullah set off from the base camp. Shaheen reached camp 2, whereas Amin reached camp 3.
The leader of the “Polish Winter Himalayan Mountaineering 2010-2015” program
2a.m. local time. Artur Malek and Adam Bielecki are in camp IV at an altitude of 7400m. Tomasz Kowalski and Maciej Berbeka bivouacking on the pass 7900m. Karim Hayyat in camp II. From basecamp go up Shaheen and Amin Ullah Baig. Their task will be to reach out to descend and help in their descent to basecamp or liquidation of camps.
5 March, 2013 The first winter climb of Broad peak (8047 m) has been done by Polish team March, 5, 2013. Four climbers - Maciej Berbeka, Tomasz Kowalski, Adam Bielecki and Artur Malek summited at 17-30 - 18-00 local time.
18 February, 2013 info from Feb, 17: Adam Bielecki and Artur Malek failed to pass a crack at 7,820 and returned to C3. They are going to spend a night 17th/18th February in C3. Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski, who have been approaching today from camp 2, have passed camp 3 and put up an assault tent at 7,400 m, in which they are going to spend a night.
The bivouac site is in the site that Amin and Shaheen reached on 16th February and where they left a deposit. Amin and Shaheen returned to the base camp still on 16th February. On 18th February Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski are going to attempt the summit, starting from the bivouac at 7,400 m - the altitude is still quite low, but goof weather forecasts give the team a greater chance to succeed.
info from Feb, 16: Adam Bielecki and Artur Malek have reached C3. Maciej Berbeka, Tomasz Kowalski and Karim ascended to C2. Weather during Feb, 16 has been extremely bad. Adam and Artur plan for Feb.17 to set camp 4, so that they may set off towards the peak today. Crossing fingers!!! (sourse: http://polishwinterhimalaism.pl)
10 February, 2013 On 8th February Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Tomasz Kowalski and Artur Malek after one day of climbing from camp 2 reached 7,000 m, where among the ruins of the so-called "Korean camp" they established camp 3 and were going to spend a night there. Shaheen Baig retreated to the base camp. Krzysztof Wielicki, Karim Hayyat and Amin Ullah reached camp 2. Having deposited the load, Amin Ullah went down to the base camp. Krzysztof and Karim sleep in the camp. Source: http://polishwinterhimalaism.pl/
18 January, 2013 A nine member strong Polish mountaineering expedition lead by the famous Polish veteran mountaineer Krzysztof Wielicki left Skardu on Thursday 17th January for their attempt to make the first winter ascent of 8,047 metre high Broad Peak in the Baltoro region. Krzysztof Wielicki, who is now 62 years old, was the fifth mountaineer to climb all 14 peaks rising above 8,000 metres between 1980 and 1996. The Expedition also includes
young and strong mountaineers Adam Bielecki and Janusz Golab who created history by making the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum I (8,068 metres) on 8th March 2012. From Pakistan side the Expedition is being accompanied by famous professional mountaineerand member Alpine Club of Pakistan Mr Shaheen Baig who hails from Shimshal, Hunza,
Gilgit Baltistan. Mr Baig has climb of three peaks rising above 8,000 metres including K2 to his credit and has taken part in several winter expeditions to Gasherbrum II and other peaks.
President Alpine Club of Pakistan, Lt Col (Retd) Manzoor Hussain in a message to the expedition has wished them success and safe return after their ardous adventure. It may be noted that during winter the Karakoram high peaks experience severe cold conditions with strong winds to the range of upto 100 kms an hour with temperatures dropping to 70 degrees below freezing. It may be recalled that first winter ascent of Gasherbrum II (8,035 metre) was made by an international team lead by Simone Moro and that of Gasherbrum I (8,068 metres) was made in March 2012 by a Polish Expedition led by Artur Hajzer. (info:
Karrar Haidri, Member Executive Council Alpine Club of Pakistan)
5 January, 2013 Broad peak Winter. POlish team led by Wielicki, going to BC. They plan to reach BC to Jan, 21.THe main loads are already in BC (carried by porters in Fall), and 20 porters will go via Baltoro togather with climbers. ome years ago it was difficult to find the porters fot thw winter way through the Baltoro glacier, but now thehr're the team, ready for such job. The beginning of the work on the route is planning to Janm 23. The team members: Krzysztof Wielicki (leader), Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Tomasz Kowalski, Artur Malek