Himalaya 2013: Climber Stranded On Dhaulagiri

Dhaulagiri from ramrekha

While things wrap up on Everest, elsewhere in the Himalaya there are other expeditions that are winding down as well. The past few days have not been good for numerous teams as there has been little summit success off of the Big Hill. Now, poor weather is moving in and closing down the mountains for the summer, as most of the teams pack up and prepare to head home.

The biggest news of the day is that Spanish climber Juanjo Garra is currently stranded on Dhaulagiri. Apparently Garra was descending yesterday along with his Sherpa guide from somewhere high up on the mountain. It is unclear if they two men made the summit or not, but on their way down the Sherpa slipped and fell, knocking Garra over as well. When he fell, the Spaniard broke his ankle, making it incredibly hard for him to move at all.

Reportedly, the two men bivouacked above 8000 meters and have now called for assistance in helping to get off the mountain. That includes asking Simone Moro to bring his rescue helicopter to the mountain in an effort to help get Garra down. Of course, the helicopter won’t be able to conduct a rescue at 8000 meters, so other climbers may be en route to lend a hand. It has been suggested that Ferran Latorre and Alex Txikon may be headed to Dhaulagiri with the hopes of assisting rescue efforts. The two men completed a climb of Lhotse earlier in the week and are reportedly still in Everest Base Camp.

I’ll try to post updates on this developing story as we get them.

Also on Dhaulagiri, Polish climber Pawel Michalski confirms that he turned back just 67 meters (220 feet) below the summit yesterday. He is descending back to BC today and says that he’ll post more details once he has a better Internet connection. From the sounds of things, high winds were once again the culprit here, forcing him to descend even though his goal was so close.

Kinga Baranowska and Rafal Fronia have turned back on their summit bid on Makalu. Once again, it was bad weather that did them in. Conditions looked promising yesterday so the duo pressed on in their attempt to top out on the 8481 meter (27,824 ft) mountain. They are descending now and hope to be back in BC later in the day.

Finally, the Adventure Consultants have posted some summit photos from Lhotse that complement their Everest summit shots from earlier. You can checkout the images here. Most of them include shots of Everest in the background. Looks like it was a good day to be at the top of the world.

More news from the Himalaya as it comes in. Things are now winding down across the board and by next week the entire region will be much more quiet.

Kraig Becker