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Gasherbrum climber killed 'in 500-metre fall'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 11.07.2013 11:26
Mountaineer Artur Hajzer fell 500 metres to his death while attempting to descend Gasherbrum I in the Karakorum range, his climbing partner Marcin Kaczkan has said.
Artur Hajzer. Photo: PAP/Bartlomiej ZborowskiArtur Hajzer. Photo: PAP/Bartlomiej Zborowski

Artur Hajzer. Photo: PAP/Bartlomiej Zborowski

The accident near the Chinese-Pakistani border came shortly after Kaczkan himself endured a fall.

“We started to descend – I first,” Kaczkan told the TVN television station.

“Artur Hajzer followed me.

“At a certain moment I realised that Artur - for reasons that I was not aware of - was not descending, but simply falling,” he said.

“He fell about 500 metres into the base of a wall of rock.”

Kaczkan added that he did his best to get down to the spot as quickly as possible

“Unfortunately, he was not alive,” he said.

Kaczkan himself reached the safety of one of the group's mountain bases on Tuesday, thanks to Russian colleagues who were part of the expedition.

Hajzer has not been recovered yet, and officially has not been pronounced dead.

The climbers had hoped to carry out successive climbs of Gasherbum I and II (the 11th and 13th highest peaks in the world), a feat that has never been managed before.

However, having reached about 7600m, bad weather struck, compelling the Hajzer and Kaczkan to return to base.

This week's accident marks the second disaster for Polish mountaineers this year. In March, two professional climbers died while scaling Broad Peak, also in the Karakoram range. (nh)

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