Holecek and Bernat Start Up Sura Peak

Marek Holecek and Matej Bernat have left base camp on a single-push, alpine-style climb of 6,764m Sura Peak. They are eyeing a new route up the Northwest Face.

The weather is good, and Bernat has recovered from some health issues that afflicted him earlier in base camp. They reach the base of the wall early tomorrow. The pair have not revealed their precise line, but they know what to avoid: a couloir that funnels all the avalanches on the NW Face.

Holecek shaves with the imposing Sura peak right behind.

Marek Holecek grabs a shave in base camp, as Sura Peak looms behind him. Photo: Marek Holecek/Instagram


Holecek has spent hours observing the mountain, which has inspired him with a mix of joy and fear. Says Holecek:

Sura Peak [combines] a beautiful and frosty spectacle: steep ice cliffs rise from the glacier, resembling a folded skirt. [Two-thirds of the way up the face], an overhanging rock crosses the wall. This will be the key. Above it is a blue ice cap with a sweet reward at the top. But if we bite into it…who knows. The line of ascent is absolutely clear, but it is scary. Three airy bivouacs that will resemble a swallow’s nest stuck to the wall and one on the descent ridge.

Sura is signaled with a blue dot on a map also featuring Chamlang to the south and Everest to the north.

Sura Peak lies between Ama Dablam and Baruntse. Photo: Marek Holecek

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering 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.