Defining Courage & Resilience, Nanga Parbat

Nanga Parbat, the Killer Mountain, is the ninth highest mountain in the world. With an elevation of 8,126M, it has got the highest Mountain Face in the world, Rupal Face. First summitted in 1953 by Austrian Climber Hermann Buhl, it claimed 31 lives before this first attempt. With 2nd highest motality rate, the mountain earns its name “The Man Eater” and “The Killer Mountain”

This year Polish Climber Tomek Mackiewicz & French Climber Elisabeth Revol came to summit this beast in winters. Tomek was trying to achieve this goal for long and it was his Seventh Attempt on Nanga Parbat. Both of them are accomplished climbers and mountaineers. While the mountain was first summitted in winters by Alex Txikon, Muhammad Ali Sadpara & Simone Moro in 2016. Alex Txikon & Muhammad Ali Sadpara goes on to summit Mount Everest this year, without using supplemental oxygen. Another team comprising mainly of polish climbers is attempting to summit K-2 in winters, this year.

Tomek Mackiewicz

Here’s a timeline of their attempt on Nanga Parbat:

16 December, 2017
The team arrived at Islamabad, Pakistan to formally start their winter expedition.

24 December, 2017
The team arrived at the Nanga Parbat Base Camp, Diamer Face.

3 January, 2018 at 18:20 hours
The duo reached at 6,000 meters to acclimatize.

15 January, 2018
The duo reached 6,700 meters
Strong Winds, Temperature reaching -45 degrees Celsius.

24 January, 2018
They reached 7,300 meters. Hoping to summit Nanga Parbat on 25th January, 2018

25 January, 2018
Communication lost with the Base Camp. Last seen at 7,400 meters.

26 January, 2018
Base Camp called Pak Army Aviation for the rescue, crowdfunding campaign started to assist rescue. 4 Climbers from the K-2 volunteer to rescue the stranded team on Nanga Parbat. Strong winds & Lower Clouds at the K-2 Base Camp resists to the helicopter flight.

27 January, 2018
Helicopters started their journey from K-2 Base Camp, taking with them Russian Mountaineer, Denis Urubko & Polish Mountaineers Adam Bielecki, Piotr Tomala & Jarek Botor and took them to Nanga Parbat. The helicopters dropped the mountaineers at around 4,900 meters. Urubko & Bielecki started their fast ascend towards the top, alpine style, while Piotr & Jarek started up slowly with loads of equipment to assist the stranded mountaineers.

28 January, 2018
Urubko & Bielecki met Elisabeth at around 6,026 meters at around 12:00 AM local time. Elisabeth was having frost bite on 5 toes on her left foot. The weather was deteriorating, a snow-storm was fore-casted. Rescuers decided to help Elisabeth with her descend. They reached Base Camp early in the morning. Bad Weather prevented helicopter to fly. While Tomek is left by Elisabeth in a tent at 7,400 meters, the previous night. Elisabeth decided to bring up some help and left Tomek there.

Elisabeth reached Islamabad and was immediately taken to the hospital for the frostbite. Meanwhile, Urubko & Bielecki decided not to go back & endanger themselves due to the snow storm, which has just started, leaving Tomek Mackiewicz to die, alone and peacefully.

Elisabeth Revol

Nanga Parbat in Winters

Nanga Parbat in Winters was a dream of Tomek. This dream kept him to visit the mountain every year. This was his Seventh Attempt on the mountain. While it was a dream for many mountaineers to summit K-2 in winters. Urubko, Bielecki, Piotr & Jarek were in Pakistan to make that dream came true. They let go their dreams to rescue fellow climbers. In fact they marked it very high, the courage they showed to rescue on such daring and killing mountain and the resilience put forwarded by all of them to safely return to their homes. The community salutes you and the history would pay with the best of the tributes for you guys.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Tomek, his family & friends. Mountaineering Community is waiting for a miracle, which happened before with Beck Weather on Everest in 1996 & with Licoln Hall in 2006. Miracles do happens and we’re praying one for Tomek. For the rescuers, I must say “Impossible isn’t Polish”.

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Adam Bielecki

Denis Urubko

About Author

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Muhammad Shuaib
A software engineer by education and a tourist by profession, born in jeddah, KSA, studied at PAF Inter college Lahore & Islamabad. Graduated from Punjab University. A Social Activist and a die hard Pakistani.

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