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2012-13 Polish Winter Broad Peak: Farewell to the two climbers and the peak

Posted: Mar 08, 2013 06:39 pm EST

(Newsdesk) ‎"Today Krzysztof Wielicki, Artur Małek, 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," reported Jan Komorowski, an university friend of Tomasz Kowalski, to ExplorersWeb.

Krzysztof Wielicki, Manager of the Polish Broad Peak team on the mountain, have issued the following statement: "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."

On March 5th, 2013, Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Artur Małek and Tomasz Kowalski bagged the first Winter Broad Peak (8047m) in the Karakorum, Pakistan. They summited between 17h30 to 18h00 local time.

After the summit Artur Małek and Adam Bielecki went down to Camp 4 at an altitude of 7400m, while Tomasz Kowalski and Maciej Berbeka bivouacked (without a tent) on the pass at 7900m. Maciej started going down with Tomasz staying at the bivouac. On March 6th Tomasz Kowalski (27) and Maciej Berbeka (58) were officially declared missing. Debrief of March 5 & 6 read here.

25 years ago Maciej Berbeka attempted Broad Peak (8047m) in Winter for the first time. March 6th, 1988 he reached his highest point then on the mountain, Rocky Summit, already over 8000m on the route, and turned around.

Artur Hajzer is the Program Manager of the Polish Himalayan Winter 2010 - 2015 Project.
Krzysztof Wielicki is the Manager on Broad Peak.
Shaheen Baig, Amin Ullah and Karim Hayyat are Pakistani climbers/HAPs

Broad Peak links:

Polish on FB

Polish winter climbing news

Polish 2012-13 Broad Peak route

Winter expedition of Polish Mountaineering Association to Broad Peak - topo of the route to the summit

Altitude Pakistan

Broad Peak weather

Polish support agency: Jasmine Tours Pakistan

6 previous Winter Broad Peak attempts


Winter Broad Peak search: Hurricane at 8000m and 1975 video

Winter Nanga Parbat: Joel Wischnewski search February 21st & 22nd


Winter permits, calendar climbs and more: 2004 ExWeb series revisit

Winter 8000ers: Statistics recall

Himalaya winter games: list of expeditions is up

Best of ExplorersWeb 2012 Awards Winner: Gasherbrum I First Winter Ascent

Mountaineering, the next generation: Artur Hajzer speaks from Lhotse

Mount Everest and Lhotse: summit pushes and speed attempt brewing

Polish debrief of a different K2 season

K2 summit pics and video: Polish climbers on a roll

#Mountaineering #topstory

Krzysztof Wielicki, "We must conclude that Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski are dead."
Image by ExplorersWeb, SOURCE
The Winter Broad Peak summit and the summit team.
courtesy FTP / Polish Himalayas