WINTER POLISH EXPEDITION
meter away from the precipice
Camp1 and Camp2 - photo by Wielicki
last 24 hours have been dramatic both for the ones fighting on
the slopes of K2 and for those being the powerless witnesses of
the events. Hurricane winds have destroyed the makeshift camp
The alpinists escaped from the icy hell with great difficulty.
Dariusz Zaluski and Maciej Pawlikowski reached camp II (6600 m)
only at their second attempt. They gave up at their first attempt
due to deteriorating weather conditions. They returned to camp
I (5950 m). The next day, they reached the tent of camp II, established
temporarily on the ridge, on a mound of icy stones. They were
to establish a second tent on the platform arduously cut in ice
by their predecessors - Piotr Morawski and Marcin Kaczkan.
"The evening was even fairly pleasant, considering our location"
- said Zaluski. "I took a sleeping pill to get some rest. I was
so warm that I even took the down suit off when I lay down in my sleeping
bag. I woke up after midnight. The wind was getting stronger. Maciek
was sitting there already in his suit. After a while, we had our boots
and climbing harnesses on, ready for escape which, however, was impossible
for the time being. We would have been swept away. We tied ourselves
with ropes to the ground. We expected to stay strapped to the ridge,
even if the wind swept away the tent. As a matter of fact, that wouldn't
give us a great chance to survive the night, in the frost, without shelter.
We dug our heels in, trying to hold the tent in place with our backs.
At one point, two poles came off the tent from the outside and flew
off into the distance. The precipice was one meter away. We survived
like that until dawn. When it got light, we began the evacuation. Without
the fixed ropes, we would have flown away. The descent was difficult.
I was most afraid on the ice field above camp I, since we were descending
under the hail of avalanches consisting of icy lumps and stones that
were hitting us with great intensity. Maciek was hit in the head. He
was a bit dazed for a while. Luckily, he only has a small bump. The
wintry K2 has shown its claws."
base under K2.
- English translation: "Scrivanek")