Hard Conditions on Masherbrum and Gasherbrum I

Marek Holecek and Radoslav Groh are advancing slowly on Masherbrum’s West Face after the third climber of the team had to retreat because of a toothache. Meanwhile, on Gasherbrum I, six Pakistani climbers have joined forces against high winds and snow.

Slow going

“We’re on our third bivouac since we left Base Camp and we’ve only reached 6,000m,” Holecek told his home team. He noted how slowly he and Groh are progressing, and how difficult was to say goodbye to Tomas Petrecek.

“They say men don’t cry, but…we hugged each other in silence and preferred not to look at each other’s faces,” Holecek admitted. Happily, Petrecek reached Base Camp safely today.

Meanwhile, Holecek and Groh spent the day inching up a dangerous vertical gully. Ice and rocks fell constantly, and a void yawned beneath their feet. Once, they had to dig a tunnel through drifted snow to burrow their way up.

They have now reached their bivy and are confident that they have enough food, time, and good weather. “Tomorrow, the goal is a small cave around 7,000m,” said Holecek. ” I hope that the cave is not just an illusion. Otherwise, I don’t know where we would stick our asses.”

Pakistani climbers unite on Hidden Peak

The last six climbers on Gasherbrum I have joined forces in a last-ditch attempt to summit despite wind, falling snow, and poor visibility. Sirbaz Khan, Shehroze Kashif, Sajid Sadpara, Naila Kayani, Sohail Sakhi, and another unidentified climber, all from Pakistan, left Camp 2 this morning. They hope to reach the seracs marking the location of Camp 3. Should the weather improve, they will try to summit tomorrow.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.