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Alpine Club of Pakistan Press Release


 

 

 


First Winter Ascent of Gasherbrum I by Polish Mountaineers and Missing of Second Summit Team led by Austrian Climber Gerfried Goschl

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Summit team comprising famous Austrian climber Gerfried Goschl, Swiss Cedric Hählen and famous Pakistani mountaineer Nisar Hussain Sadpara is missing near the summit of 8,068 metre high Mt Gasherbrum I since noon Friday 9th March 2012. The trio were part of the Austrian Expedition led by Mr Gerfried Goschl attempting the First Winter Ascent of the mountain, also known as Hidden Peak, situated in the upper reaches of the Baltoro glacier in District Skardu of Gilgit Batistan. Earlier the summit team had left Camp I on 6 March on the new route from South side which was established by the Expedition during last one month and was also attempted by Gerfried Goschl during his last winter attempt on the peak in January 2011. They started for Gasherbrum I summit from its South side carrying all its gear and climbed throughout Thursday night, but had to bivouc enroute above 7000 metres.

On Friday 9th March at 10:30 am Mr Gerfried informed back home in Austria that he was 450 metres below the summit. Another expedition member Alex Txikon from Camp 2 saw them heading towards the summit around 12:00 pm. The team used Satellite telephone set.

Meanwhile Polish climbers Adam Bielecki and Janusz Golab, part of another summit team climbing Gasherbrum I through the normal route from North West side made history on 9th March 2012 when they, climbing throughout Thursday night, reached the Gasherbrum I Summit on Friday, at 8:30 am, for the very first time ever during winter. The climbers made this history without use of oxygen. The climbers, who during their descent also saw Gerfried trio heading towards the summit from the other side, reached back Base Camp on Saturday 10th March at 4:00 pm in the company of another prominent Pakistani climber Shaheen Baig.

Due to bad weather in the area rescue helicopter sortie could not be flown on Saturday 10th March. Lt Col Manzoor Hussain (Retd), President Alpine Club of Pakistan and Col Sher Khan, eminent Pakistani mountaineer, who are in contact with the Expedition at the Gasherbrum Base Camp, are coordinating the helicopter rescue arrangement through Army Aviation.

 

It may be mentioned that three of the climbers at the Base Camp including the summiteers are frost bitten while remaining are not fit to climb back to search the climbers. On Sunday 11th March as the weather cleared, a rescue team comprising three famous Pakistani mountaineers Hassan Sadpara, (Everest climber), Ali Reza and Nazir Sadpara was readied for flying to Gasherbrum Base Camp to reinforce the search operation. However, due to weather turning bad by noon and late availability of the helicopters, the sortie could not be undertaken.

 

On Monday due to extreme bad weather in the area no rescue attempt could be launched. Efforts are being made on Tuesday 13th March to fly in the helicopters to the base Camp but are being hampered by bad weather.