Holecek and Bernat Safe in BC After Summiting Sura Peak

Marek Holecek and Matej Bernat reached the top of 6,764m Sura Peak yesterday, despite a fierce storm that forced a third bivouac near the summit. They were attempting the 1,300m-high Northwest Wall.

The news came only today after the climbers made it safely down to Base Camp, and Holecek wrote a few words about the adventure.

Sura Peak lies south of Everest and east of Ama Dablam, in Nepal’s Himalaya.


On Monday, after a difficult night in a poor bivy site swept constantly by spindrift, the climbers faced the most difficult pitches. They surmounted a rocky barrier that crosses the face, then began the steep ice pitches leading to the summit. Here, the weather deteriorated, and a storm raged.

But they were also lucky. “Just 150 meters below the top, a serac and a cave barely visible from below [came into view].” The crevasse provided a cold but otherwise excellent bivy at 6,500m.

two boots on a steep snow slope and the great Himalayas at them.

Bernat’s feet hang at 6,500m. Photo: Matej Bernat


Yesterday, the climbers did the last meters to the highest point of Sura Peak.

“Joy? I would hardly describe the feeling like that,” Holecek recalled. “[We’re] tired, frozen, and have the vision of a brutal descent ahead us.”

Yet the peak also offered incredible views of nearby Chamlang, Ama Dablam, and Baruntse, as well as Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Pumori, Holecek recalls.

The pair took 11 hours for the descent. Once safe in Base Camp, Holecek could appreciate their new route more fully. It was, he said, “simply beautiful.”

Sura Peak, with the complex rock barrier crossing the face. Photo: Jukka Tarkkala/Finnish Baruntse Expedition 1994.


Holecek says that Sura Peak has had one previous ascent, but there are probably more. Most would have happened without a proper climbing permit before the mountain officially opened to foreigners in 2003.

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.