Winter Climbs 2014: Injured Climbers Evacuated From Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat Indus Gorge

We have news from Pakistan today on the condition of the two Polish climbers injured in the avalanche on Nanga Parbat this past weekend. According to the team’s Facebook page, Pawel Dunaj and Michal Obrycki were carried on stretchers from Base Camp to the nearby village of Tarashing. From there, they were expected to be taken by jeep to a hospital in either Gilgit or Skardu last night. There is no confirmation yet on whether or not they have reached a hospital just yet.

According to various reports, Pawel suffered both a broken arm and broken ribs, while Michal is nursing an injured leg and broken nose. Both are likely in a lot of pain and could no longer wait for a helicopter evacuation. Poor weather has kept that helicopter grounded for the past several days, and it didn’t appear that it would fly soon, thus the need to evacuated the men from BC as soon as possible.

There is still no word on whether or not the expedition is now officially over, but it seems highly unlikely that they’ll have the strength to give it another go. Forecasts call for poor weather over the next few days, and the risk of further avalanches is high. With just ten days left in the winter season, it is likely that the Poles will gather up their gear and head home. But for now, they have not mentioned what their plans will be.

Fortunately, no one was killed in this avalanche and the winter season will end with no summit on Nanga, but also no deaths either. We should get word soon on the team’s official decision, but it seems that decision was probably made for them last weekend.

Kraig Becker