Everything that is good ends well. The website of Montagnes magazine has caused what remains to be an unfortunate incident “Without a doubt a springtime adventure in the Himalayas”. An adventure that could have turned into a tragedy, at the end of which Marek Hollyczyk and Radoslav Groh, helpless in the face of nature, realize thatThere was nothing else to do but pray and wait.. Prayers have been heard since the two men finally emerged from what Marek Holichek called “white hell”.
Having reached the summit and opened a new alpine-style road on the northwest face of Baruntse, already after a very complicated ascent, the Czech mountaineers, unable to move on the descent, remained safe from the cold and wind in their small canvas tent, “Waiting for a miracle” According to Hungry and Exhausted Marek Holichek:
“Climbers are supposed to take the least amount of things with them on their climbing trips, for the simple reason that they might want to stay at the top. But as far as we are concerned, we obviously didn’t want to stay there more than a minute. On the contrary, we’ve been Very frugal, our only goal was to get to the top of the face. The problem was that the weather got there and we had to wait. To the right, to the left, in front of us, behind you, visibility became completely zero, there was a hurricane. In these cases, there is nothing else We do nothing but pray and wait for it to pass.”
Marek Holijek is not the first to come. He is a well-known and well-known mountaineer. Last September, he and fellow Czech climber Zdenek Haak were awarded the Piolet d’Or for their 2019 ascent of the northwest face of Mount Chamlang, which has a height of 7,321 metres. That time was the first ascent of this long-awaited face, after six days of ascent, with four vaults.
A climb similar, in length and difficulty, to the Baruntse climb. The Piolets d’or Awards are awarded each year by the High Mountain Group, and are used to highlight the most beautiful climbs in the Alpine style. As a testament to his talent, Marek Holichek has already received an award in 2018 for a new road in the western face of Ghasherbrum I (8,068m, Pakistan).
So it is difficult to accuse him of recklessness and this time underestimated the company at the foot of the barontsy, as he defended himself, always from Kathmandu, on Czech radio waves:
“We planned the climb well, and since we had little imagination and skill, we advanced more or less as quickly as we envisioned. I think we did well. We knew the weather was going to get worse, bad weather was coming, and of course we took those forecasts in Mind. Simply put, this bad weather arrived earlier than advertised, slowed our speed and forced us to take cover. But it can be part of this expedition. It was a new path and there is always an element of the unknown.”
Baruntse is a relatively accessible summit with an elevation of 7000 metres, very popular with commercial agencies. Provided, however, that you walk the natural route of the South Rim, like the authors of First Ascent in 1954, within an expedition to New Zealand led by the legendary Sir Edmund Hillary.
And of an entirely different caliber, the northwestern face of the Chicans, which Marek Holczek likened to “The Wall”, would have been fatal to them. They finally returned after descending the less steep southern slope, ten days after their ascent had begun, but were not sure it would win them another Piolet d’Or.