Muchu Chhish: A Ski Descent and a Close Call

After acclimatizing on Spantik, the Czech team is ready to launch their attempt on Muchu Chhish, the world’s highest unclimbed peak on which climbing is allowed. However, they had a scare in the last few days.

Everyone successfully acclimatized on Spantik, spending at least one night at altitude. Meanwhile, Pavel Bem and Radoslav Groh summited the 7,027m peak on June 25. They then skied down to Base Camp. They shared a cool video about their experience:

The close call came when fellow climber Pawel Petrecek also tried to ski down from the summit. Petrecek’s partner, Rudolfova Terezka, fell some 300m down a steep section at 6,000m. When Petrecek reached her, she was injured but conscious. She then started having speech problems, and her condition worsened.

“It was the worst time of my life,” her partner later admitted. Luckily, the rest of the team was also on the mountain. They provided basic first aid, and brought her down to 5,500m. A Pakistani Army helicopter airlifted them out the following morning. Terezka is recovering quickly with “only” a broken ankle and some bruises.

The climbers with hemets and skis on, roped up, in light clothes, on a snowy summit, mountains in background.

Thomas Petrecek and Rudolfova Terezka on the summit of Spantik, skis on, before the accident. Photo: Thomas Petrecek


French competitors

Then Bem, Groh, and Pavel Korinek set off for Muchu Chhish Base Camp, a two-day walk from Spantik. On the way there, they got some unexpected news from their porters.

“A French climbing team…has the same goal as we do,” the Czechs wrote. “Competition is always beneficial, but…”

This is the third time that the Czech team is attempting Muchu Chhish. We don’t yet know yet who the French team is.

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.