Nepal | May 28, 2020

Polish daredevil abandons attempt to ski down Everest

Agence France Presse
Share Now:

Kathmandu, September 30

A hanging chunk of ice the size of an apartment block has forced Polish daredevil Andrzej Bargiel to abandon his bid to ski down Mount Everest, he announced on his Facebook today.

The 31-year-old — who last year skied down K2 — was making a rare attempt to summit the world’s tallest mountain and then ski down without supplemental oxygen.

But a serac — a block of glacial ice — is hanging dangerously above the already treacherous Khumbu icefall that climbers have to cross to reach Camp 1.

Bargiel and other teams were waiting at the base camp hoping the serac — which he said is around 50 metres by 30 metres — would break off so they could pass.

“Walking underneath through the Icefall is extremely dangerous,” he posted on his Facebook page, adding he wouldn’t accept the risk.

“We are here for a long time, there is no progress and so no acclimatisation beyond base camp. We therefore have to finish our expedition, because that’s the most reasonable decision.” The decision comes after another team abandoned its expedition last week, now leaving only a few climbers on the mountain.

Autumn expeditions on Everest are rare because of snowier terrain, shorter and colder days and a narrow summit window compared to the busy spring. Nepal has issued only 10 permits for the mountain this season.

Bargiel was eyeing the 8,848-metre-tall Everest only a year after he became the first person to ski down Pakistan’s K2, the second-highest mountain in the world.

He has previously also skied off Nepal’s Manaslu, Broad Peak in Pakistan and Shishapangma in Tibet.

The world’s highest peak has seen a handful of ski descents, but never a continuous downhill without additional oxygen, as Bargiel had planned.

This year’s traffic-clogged spring climbing season saw a record 885 people summit on Everest, 644 of them from the south and 241 from the northern flank in Tibet.

The season ended with 11 deaths — at least four blamed on overcrowding.

 


A version of this article appears in print on October 01, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

ANFA president's statement draws controversy

KATHMANDU: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) President Karma Tsering Sherpa during a video interview said that nationality is weak in the Madhesi community. ANFA President Sherpa, during the interview with Durbin Nepal, made the controversial remark that Madhesi community needed a lesson on n Read More...

Rautahat crosses 100-mark with 35 new COVID-19 cases

RAUTAHAT: The number of COVID-19 positive cases crossed hundred with 35 people testing positive for the infection in Rautahat district, on Wednesday. Among the new cases, eight people have been infected in Gaur Municipality, 16 in Ishanath Municipality, two in Dewahi Gonahi Municipality, two in K Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 5.6 million, death toll tops 349,500

More than 5.6 million people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus globally and 349,555 have died, a Reuters tally shows. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The Americas have em Read More...

'Maintain sexual and reproductive health services during pandemic'

Previous experience from Ebola epidemic in Liberia has already proven that discontinuing heath services unrelated to epidemic response resulted in more deaths than the epidemic itself. Most of the reproductive health services are time sensitive and further delay or denial in seeking services can inc Read More...

FIR against 20 persons for involvement in killing Dalit youth, friends

JAJARKOT: The families of the victims of Chaurjahari incident have filed a First Incident Report (FIR) against 20 persons for their involvement in the killings of Dalit youth Nawaraj BK and his friends, in District Police Office, Jajarkot on Wednesday. As per the FIR, Chaurjahari Municipality-8 c Read More...

Taiwan president pledges humanitarian relief for Hong Kongers

TAIPEI: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday pledged to draw up a plan to give humanitarian relief to people involved in pro-democracy protests in Taiwan's most concrete intervention since a renewal of unrest in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong. China's proposed new security legislation for Read More...

Renault and Nissan rule out merger as they unveil survival plan

PARIS/TOKYO: Renault, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp ruled out a merger on Wednesday and instead said they would cooperate more closely on vehicle development to slash costs and salvage their troubled alliance. The three carmakers are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic which engu Read More...