Hunza News

Australian aborts Broad Peak ascent after fall

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ISLAMABAD: An Australian mountaineer survived a fall while attempting to climb the Broad Peak on Friday.

HunzaNews,, July 12th, 2014

“The rope suddenly broke just below Camp II and I took a tumble and badly sprained ankle. It could have been much worse. The expedition is over for me,” Gavin Vickers wrote on his website while heading back home.

According to the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP), Vickers suffered the accident just below Camp II.

However, his partner Romanian mountaineer Alex Gavan had already completed getting acclimatised to Camp III and was waiting for the weather to permit ascent to the top of the 8,051 metres peak in the Karakoram Range.


Also read: Czech climber goes missing on Broad Peak


This summer climbing and trekking season has seen one tragic accident. Waqas Siddiqui was leading an expedition of trekkers over the roughly 6,000 metres Gondogoro La Pass when he made the error of descending on what climbers call the ‘death steps’ without fixed ropes.

He slipped and fell to his death. Nonetheless, the ACP said most teams had completed their acclimatisation with one of the Bulgarian climbers having reached as high as 7,700 metres on the Broad Peak.

But the world has its eyes on dual Australian and New Zealand national Christine Jensen Burke, the only woman from that part of the world to have climbed the seven highest peaks on each of the seven continents, including Mount Everest.

Burke is also on the Broad Peak and bad weather forced her and her partner to descend.

“Yesterday was probably the closest I have ever come to getting frostbite on a mountain. As the weather worsened and winds escalated mid afternoon, Lapka Sherpa and I made a tough decision to descend though we were only 30 minutes from Camp II. Then we started a six-hour descent back to Broad Peak base camp,” Burke wrote on her blog.


Also see: Adventure: The incredible tales of Little Karim


She will also be attempting to summit K2, one of the most challenging 8,000 metres peak. Burke has come to Pakistan to mark the 60th anniversary since K2, the world’s second highest mountain, was conquered in 1954.

“My strategy includes allowing for the fact that I might not actually reach the summit on my first attempt. And, you know what, that really is ok. Some of the best lessons I have had have come from those expeditions where I did not reach the summit on the first attempt,” she wrote on her blog.

The thought that less than 10 women have ever made it to the top of K2 does not scare her, she added.

More teams are also headed towards the base camp of the Broad Peak and K2. Some had planned to summit both Broad Peak and K2 one after the other this summer. Besides, more teams are coming from Spain, Hungary, Japan and the US.

Published in Dawn

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