Nepal | June 05, 2020

Polish climber evacuated from Mt Makalu

Rajan Pokhrel
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Lech Wieslaw Flaczynski and his son Wojciech Bartlomiej Flaczynski along with a climbing Sherpa at Tribhuvan International Airport. Photo: Mingma Sherpa

LUKLA: A 71-year-old Polish climber has been evacuated from the high camp of Mt Makalu this afternoon.

According to Mingma Sherpa, Company Director at Seven Summit Treks, Lech Wieslaw Flaczynski from Poland was airlifted from 6,600 m on the world’s fifth highest mountain after the climber suffered from altitude sickness while descending from the top of the mountain.

Senior Captain at Altitude Air Pvt. Ltd Nischal KC airlifted the climber from the high camp. KC, one of a few highly trained high altitude rescue pilots, has saved many lives in the spring climbing season, Sherpa said, adding that Lech who was first brought to Lukla from Mt Makalu and then got airlifted to Kathmandu.

“Lech is undergoing treatment at CIWEC International Clinic in Kathmandu,” Sherpa added.

Lech along with his son Wojciech Bartlomiej Flaczynski made it to the summit point on May 24. “My father lost his headlamp while descending from the summit point and he started feeling weak,” Wojciech told THT.

According to him, a strong wind barred them moving down towards Camp IV. “The next day, we struggled hard to make to Camp IV,” he said, adding that the duo stayed three nights at Camp IV due to bad weather.

As the climbers ran out of food, Lech also suffered from the altitude mountain sickness. “We had managed to descend to Camp III on May 28 but found no tents available there to stay,” he shared. The same day, Lech also ran out of supplemental oxygen. “I had decided to go up to Camp IV again to find oxygen bottles left out by other climbers,” he shared. According to him, he found a full bottle of oxygen above Camp III. “We ate chocolates, biscuit and Ice to survive.” Wojciech who climbed Mt Makalu without supplemental oxygen also thanked KC and Sherpa for saving his father’s life.

Flaczynski was a part of a 12-member expedition led by Spanish climber Jesus Morales Manzanares, according to Nivesh Karki, Manager at Seven Summit Treks. “Earlier, the duo had made a failed attempt on Mt Makalu last year.”

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