Nepal | January 18, 2021

Polish ski daredevil Andrzej Bargiel abandons autumn Everest challenge

Rajan Pokhrel
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KATHMANDU: Polish climbers including ski daredevil Andrzej Leszek Bargiel today decided to abandon their attempt to climb the world’s highest peak in the autumn season, according to expedition organiser.

“Polish climbers Andrzej Leszek Bargiel, Andrzej’s brother Grzegorz Bargiel and Jakub Poburka along with their five base camp staff and filming crew have called off their bid to make a very rare ascent of Mt Everest in the autumn season due to a high risk of avalanche in the treacherous icefall section,” Mingma Sherpa, Chairman at Seven Summit Treks, said.

Andrzej, who wanted to climb and ski down Mt Everest without using supplemental oxygen as well as without unfastening the skis, has descended to Gorak Shep abandoning the autumn ski expedition, Sherpa quoted the expedition members as saying. Andrzej had created history by skiing down from K2 last year.

“Hanging serac poses a great risk to the climbers on Mt Everest this season,” Sherpa said, adding that the serac could fall any time onto the Icefall section.

Among 10 members who obtained climbing permit for autumn Everest expedition, at least three climbers including the president of Mountain Hardwear Brand Joe Vernachio, Tim Emmett from UK and Polish climber Rafal Maciej Fronia along with their filming crew had already abandoned their climbing activities on Mt Everest.

“Snow day again at Everest base camp! We hiked down to a warm lodge in Gorak Shep to visit some friends this afternoon…hoping for clear skies tomorrow!,” team leader Garrett Madison, owner of the Madison Mountaineering, shared.

Now, there are only four expedition members who will continue their expedition on Mt Everest. “Garrett and his fellow American climbers Zac Bookman and Kristin Bennett will only cross the icefall section once the serac comes down.”

Another climber Kilian Jornet from Spain is now at Camp I to attempt to climb the world’s highest peak in an alpine style, said Murari Sharma, Managing Director at Everest Pariwar Treks.

Though the ultra-runner Spaniard has not disclosed the details of his climbing plan yet, Kilian, as per sources, would try to complete his mission by October 3.


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