Heli search called off for Martin Minarik on Annapurna

Heli search called off for Martin Minarik on Annapurna

Posted: Apr 26, 2009 05:57 pm EDT

(MountEverest.net/story updated 4.12 pm) Czech star climber Martin Minarik is missing on Annapurna several sources reported to ExplorersWeb today.

His team mate Eli Revol is expected to return to France from Kathmandu on Sunday.

The expedition, originally consisting Dodo Kopold, Martin Minarik and French female climber Elizabeth Revol made a failed attempt to climb Annapurna via the Bonington route after which Dodo Kopold left and returned to Europe for the Piolet d'Or event.

When severe winds hit their high camp on April 19, Eli and Martin aborted a second attempt on the top last weekend. In a prolonged climb, the two still managed to reach the east fore-summit (8016m) and began a difficult descent in rough conditions. "Martin is not well, Eli Revol reported to her home team over SMS on Wednesday.

According to news brought by Libor Uher's website (fellow Czech climbers who aborted their own Annapurna attempt earlier and are now headed to Everest north side), confirmed today by Czech online mountain news sources Lezec.cz and horyinfo.cz, Eli said that she and Martin were forced to split up at 7100 meters where Martin was unable to move on his own due to exhaustion and frostbite. Uher's agency said the exhausted Revol was found in Manang village from where a helicopter transported her to Pokhara. Eli met with Libor´s team and Ms. Hawley in Kathmandu on Friday, trying to detail her route of descent.

A two day search by helicopters and a team of Sherpa has been unsuccessful and the heli SAR was reportedly called off today.

Born 27.11. 1967, in addition to spectacular climbs on Denali, Mt Logan and Aconcagua, Martin Minarik participated in 10 Himalaya expeditions and summited 7, 8000ers:

Manaslu (8.163 m) 1999,
Kangchenjunga (8.598 m) 2002
Broad Peak (8.047 m) 2003,
Shisha Pangma (8.046 m) 2004 - north side in alpine style
Cho Oyu (8.201 m) 2005
Lhotse (8.516 m) 2007
Dhaulagiri (8.167 m) 2008


See you there, buddy. Image from Martin Minarik's 2008 Annapurna photo album, courtesy of his website. (Click to enlarge).
Martin flying the Tibetan flag on the May 10 national uprising day from his home shortly before leaving for Annapurna this spring. Image courtesy of Martin Minarik (click to enlarge).