Baruntse: Still Trapped, Still Alive

Alpine style Himalaya
Marek Holecek (left) and Radoslav Groh. Compilation from the climbers' FB page: @KrisAnnapurna
“The situation is unchanged, we are trapped at 7,000m, and we can not move,” Marek Holecek has just told his Base Camp. “It’s still snowing, blowing, and no visibility. We are waiting for a miracle that will hopefully arrive on Saturday.”
The storm from Cyclone Yaas has trapped Holecek and partner Radoslav Groh on the northwest side of Baruntse. Two days ago, they opened a new route alpine style, carrying only the essential gear and supplies. Now they are unable to move. Shortly after summiting, they reported that they were very tired and that their sleeping bags were soaked.
The weather has not been ideal throughout the climb, but it turned dramatically worse the day the climbers reached the summit.
There is no one else on the mountain or nearby, except for a friend, Pavel Hodek, and cameraman Tomas Galasek in Base Camp.
One of these two has explained the spotty communication with the two climbers on the face. “[They] have no mobile connection or data access. Marek can send a short message via satellite phone, [but] only if the satellite is hovering over him. As long as the battery on their satellite phone lasts, I can inform you about the progress of the expedition. Photos cannot be sent. I use photos from Marek’s archive for the reports published here.”
Hodek or Galasek explained how poor the weather was in the area. “It snows heavily, 20-30cm of snow falls daily. Visibility is zero, even in BC. Nobody can get here or [escape] from here. Everybody is waiting for better weather, which should come on Saturday. Thanks again to everyone who keeps their fingers crossed for the boys.”
Although any rescue would not be possible now, it is likely that after all their hard work, Holecek and Groh want to get down on their own. Note that Holecek also had trouble getting down from Chamlang two years ago — the climb which earned him and Zdenek Hak a Piolet d’Or.
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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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S R
S R
16 days ago

Best of luck! Hope you return safely.

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Cheri
Cheri
16 days ago

Prayers for a safe return.

+4
Sadik
Sadik
16 days ago

Stay safe and come back down safe boys! Praying for you two!

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Trish
Trish
16 days ago

Sending lots of prayers and positivity to Marek, Rad, Tomas, and Pavel. Stay positive and calm. You can do this!!

+2
Vip
Vip
16 days ago

If there’s anyone that can survive these conditions, it would be Holecek & Co! Good luck, gents! You will make it down!!!!

+1
Amad
Amad
15 days ago

best of luck… guys…

0
Benny Smith
Benny Smith
15 days ago

They will come back, and then celebrate this extraordinary feat in alpinism! Keep going guys!

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Rafael Brasil
Rafael Brasil
15 days ago

Que Deus guie vocês para suas casas e para a família.

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