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Polish climber survives fall in Nanga Parbat

Polish climber survives fall in Nanga Parbat

ISLAMABAD: The battle for Nanga Parbat’s first winter ascent is making headlines again. This week, a climber survived more than 250 feet fall on the icy wall of the ninth highest peak in the world.

Alpine Club Pakistan confirmed that Polish climber Adam Bielecki fell while fixing a rope at an altitude of 5,700 metres.

“The Polish climber fell on January 12, more than 80 metres, but survived any major injury,” said an official of ACP.

Adam Bielecki wrote on his Facebook page, “I took a fall with torn fixed rope. Fortunately, Daniele Nardi (climbing partner) was securing me with the second rope. In spite of the long fall, I’m ok just with slightly battered right hand.”

Daneile Nardi also posted, “I heard fixing a piton and I saw him do the anchor maneuver. Then something happened and he fell. He flew for about 80 metres. During the flight, I could not help but to anchor most of his rope to my harness and then wait for the blow.”

The official explained how the two climbers even considered going up but then decided to retreat to the base camp. The climbers were depositing hundreds of metres of rope and gear on the peak.

The official said given the difficulties of the winter ascent, climbers on Kinshofer route had joined hands and were now working as one team.

The climbers missed a clear window when the weather was suitable to climb. After failing to launch an alpine style, light and fast summit attempt and being unable to maintain acclimatisation, Adam Bielecki and Jacek Czech opted to coordinate with Alex Txikon, Daniele Nardi and Ali Sadpara. The three wanted to climb Kinshofer route in a classical style, fixing ropes and setting up camps before the summit push.

“We want to fix ropes on the way to C3 together,” says Adam Bielecki.

The five climbers had been working together on Kinshofer route since last week, depositing gear higher on the mountain.

They also reported, according to the ACP, that they had opened the route till the base of Kinshofer Wall at 6,050 metres and deposited one tent, food and other material.

Tomek Mackiewicz and Elisabeth Revol returned to the base camp. Apparently, bad conditions, cold and strong winds forced them to retreat from Camp III as high as 6,600 metres.

Italian climbers Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger had set up Camp II on Messner-Messner-Eisendle-Tomaseth 2,000 route.

The Justice for All team had reached an altitude of 6,200 metres on Schell route. At the time of last communication, they were stuck in a snow cave at 6,000 metres - waiting for the improvement in weather conditions.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2016

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