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Polish climber goes missing

July 27, 2015

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Olek Ostrowski and Piotr Snigorski were attempting to descend Gasherbrum II on skiis when Ostrowski went missing.
Olek Ostrowski and Piotr Snigorski were attempting to descend Gasherbrum II on skiis when Ostrowski went missing.

ISLAMABAD: Polish mountaineer Olek Ostrowski, 27, went missing on the Gasherbrum II on Saturday. He was part of the polish team who intended to summit the Gasherbrum II, the world’s 13th highest mountain at 8,035 metres and then descend on skis.

Alpine Club of Pakistan confirmed that the young climber is missing and because of bad weather, a search has not been possible.

Olek Ostrowski and his teammate Piotr Snigorski intended to ski down from the top of Gasherbrum II, this season but deep snow thwarted their summit push at 7, 600 meters on Friday. It took them more than ten hours to reach 7, 600 meters from Camp III which is at 7,400 metres.


Another Pole Andrzej Bargiel conquers Broad Peak and skis down the slopes


“On Saturday, July 25, the two climbers were descending from camp II to camp I on skis when Olek Ostrowski possibly fell into a crevasse. Piotr Snigorski, however, safely made it back to the base camp,” said ACP Press Secretary Karrar Haidri.

The official explained that helicopters could not fly because of unfavourable weather, so an aerial search to locate the missing climber could not be carried out. On Sunday, a search party including Polish woman climber Kinga Baranowska and three high altitude porters left the base camp to search for the missing climber.

“We are waiting for more updates from the search party,” said Karrar Haidri who did seem optimistic about the rescue mission.

On Saturday, all but one climber had decided to abandon their attempts on Broad Peak, the 12th highest mountain in the world at 8,051 metres, because of excessive snow and terrible weather conditions. However, polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel has summated the mountain and made the first ski descent on the slopes of Broad Peak.

Karrar Haidri said that Bargiel was still on the mountain.

“Summit attempts on K2 and on Broad Peak have been marred by the Polish climber going missing. However, there has been one successful attempt on the 8, 051 meters high peak,” said Karrar Haidri.

He is the only climber to reach the top of Broad Peak, this year. The Polish team, Andrzej Bargiel and Dariusz Zaluski left the base camp around mid night. While Dariusz Zaluski abandoned the push after reaching as high as 7, 400 meters, Andrzej Bargiel climbed on capturing the peak at 8am local time.

Skiing down from summit, Andrzej Bargiel reached Base Camp three hours later, said Karrar Haidri.

“This is an incredible achievement given the difficult and dangerous conditions this summer season on Broad Peak,” said the ACP official.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2015

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