Last Man on Broad Peak on a Risky Summit Push

Ignacio Lucero of Argentina has set off from Broad Peak's Camp 3 toward the summit, alone. Photo: La Voz

It’s like a teen horror movie from the ’90s, where the guy with glasses enters the abandoned house and opens the door leading up to the dark attic.

Trouble ahead.

After their failed summit push two days ago, all the climbers have returned to Base Camp or are almost there — except for Ignacio “Nacho” Lucero of Argentina. He was the last to reach Base Camp this season and seems determined to have his go, conditions be damned. Minutes ago, he messaged Akhbar Syed, who is managing his Base Camp logistics. “I am ready to go for the summit,” Lucero said.

High avalanche risk stopped climbers two days ago at 7,500m on Broad Peak. Photo: Israfil Ashurli

Serious avalanche risk

The participants on the July 26 summit push stopped at 7,500m because of high avalanche risk. Fotis Theocharis reported that their hearts skipped a beat when unstable snow settled beneath their feet with an ominous boom. He even saw the crack signaling that a snow slab was about to let go.

Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovkin, both expert skiers, dug a pit and found a large section of unstable snow under the hardened slab. It made them retreat on the spot and descend carefully, taking all possible precautions.

Vitaly Lazo and Anton Pugovkin test the snow at 7,500m on Broad Peak. Photo: Fotis Theocharis

Israfil Ashurli of Azerbaijan and Saulius Damulevicious of Lithuania, who remained in Camp 3 last night, were not about to try again “unless conditions change dramatically, and there is very little chance [of that],” Damulevicious told ExplorersWeb.

Yesterday, they thought that Lucero would go down with them. However, the Argentinean decided to stay. “He is alone in Camp 3 and told us that he will return on July 30,” Damulevicius said from Base Camp, which they reached earlier today.

An added problem for Lucero: Buried ropes in hardened, slabby snow two days ago. Photo: Fotis Theocharis

As for Lucero’s decision to start a lonely summit push, the Lithuanian climber considers it “very risky”. He adds: “We also do not know the route’s condition above that [dangerous section at 7,500m], especially the big crevasse area and the traverse toward the col.”

Ignacio Lucero and Oro. Photo: Roberto Ramasso

Ignacio Lucero summited Gasherbrum II in 2019, but he is best-known for the heart attack he suffered on Manaslu in 2011. He was rescued and taken to hospital, where his condition worsened after a stroke.

During his long recovery, he counted on the friendship of his dog Oro, meaning gold. Oro eventually became quite the character on Instagram, since he went virtually everywhere with his owner. Unfortunately, Oro died last year.

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Jake
Jake
3 months ago

RIP Oro.

+5
Geno kowalczyk
Geno kowalczyk
3 months ago

Humongous set of balls on this guy I hope he has success and most importantly safe summit

+3
Kate
Kate
3 months ago
Reply to  Geno kowalczyk

Agreed: Most importantly, a safe descent!

+4
mariaferthierry@gmail.com
Reply to  Kate

Llega seguro,acá lo estoy esperando para la llegada de nuestro bebé, gracias por las palabras

+3
mariaferthierry@gmail.com
Reply to  Geno kowalczyk

Es mí gran hombre,vuelve seguro lo estoy esperando con el nacimiento de su hijo, gracias x la buena onda

+2
Khizer
Khizer
3 months ago

Anyone has any news on Selena Khawaja?

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mariaferthierry@gmail.com

Y ala vuelta lo esperamos para que nazca nuestro hijo!!! Salvador

0
F v
F v
3 months ago

Where is lucerno at this moment? Bad weather is coming in start with wind and snow high / rain at BC tonight.

+1
Don Paul
Don Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  F v

I had to check this morning too to see if there are any updates. I’ve never heard of this man but it sounded like a one way trip.

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F v
F v
3 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

That was also what I was thinking, hopefully he is (on his way) down.

0
Syed Aizaz
Syed Aizaz
3 months ago
Reply to  F v

I am also eagerly waiting to see how its going as its more dangerous currently than the K2 updates i read here

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Don Paul
Don Paul
3 months ago

Is anyone going to rescue this guy?

+1
Don Paul
Don Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

Angela just wrote in another article that Lucero decided against a summit attempt and is descending. So no need to call for a rescue but geez these people are scary.

+1
Marie
Marie
3 months ago

What a heart-warming story, please find out where this guy is and start a search and rescue mission if he is still up there. https://cumbresmountainmagazine.com/oro-pura-nobleza-de-los-andes/amp/

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