Winter Climbs 2013: Two Climbers Still Missing On Broad Peak

800px 7 15 BroadPeak

It has been 24-hours since I posted my last update on the Polish winter ascent of Broad Peak and since then the news continues to be grim. On Tuesday of this week, four members of the team managed to make the summit but since then it has been very difficult for all who are involved. Two members of the team have managed to stumble back to Base Camp, complete exhausted from their ordeal, while two more remain missing as the weather begins to shift for the worse.

According to their latest dispatch, Artur Małek and Adam Bielecki have returned to BC after a couple of very long days. We’re told that they are physically fine and not suffering from frostbite. Summit day took its toll o them however and they no doubt remain completely spent from their efforts. The duo spent a night at Camp 4, located at 7400 meters (24,278 ft) before descending the rest of the way yesterday.

Maciej Berbeka and Tomasz Kowalski, their companions on the summit bid, remain missing on the mountain however. Berbeka and Kowalski were trailing behind their companions and ended up having to spend a night above 7900 meters (25,918 ft) without a tent. The support team heard from Tomasz over their radio at one point but that has been two days ago now and the whereabouts of the climbers now remains a mystery.

Two Pakistani climbers,  Shaheen Baig and Amin Ullah, have now climbed up to Camp 3 to watch the upper slopes for any kind of movement. They’ll stand by to assist Maciej or Tomasz should they appear. Camp 4 has also been left in place in case either of the two men finds their way down, which is not out of the question but remains a long shot at this point. 
The weather forecast is calling for a shift in conditions starting today however and it isn’t looking good. High winds, colder temperatures and snow are heading for BP, which will of course thwart search efforts and cause more problems for the missing climbers if they are still alive high on the mountain. The team always knew that this weather window was a short one, but now it is closing at the worst possible time.
I’d ask that you keep the friends and family of the two missing climbers in your thoughts today. I’m sure that they are going through hell while they wait for news. Typically I’d also say keep your fingers crossed (or prayers coming) too, but unfortunately these stories don’t tend to end well. 
It is another sad day in the mountains. 
Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “Winter Climbs 2013: Two Climbers Still Missing On Broad Peak”

  1. You made a little mistake. His name is Tomek Kowalski.

    Thanks so much for your article.

    Rémi ( close friend of Tomek )

  2. You made a little mistake. His name is Tomek Kowalski.

    Thanks so much for your article.

    Rémi ( close friend of Tomek )

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