Polish Climbers Missing on GI

(Article will be updated, as further details arrive from the mountain.)

Update-4 (10-July-13 | 1300hrs PST)
Krzysztof Wielicki has been able to communicate with Marcin, who reached the Base Camp a while ago. Unfortunately, the death of Artur Hajzer has been confirmed. Further details are still arriving, but it appears that Marcin didn't suffer any kind of accident, rather Artur Hajzer fell probably the entire length of Japanese Couloir. Apparently the body of deceased has also been located.

Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Artur Hajzer, Polish mountaineering community and Artur's fans all around the world. His unmatched climbing feats of late eighties and successful revival of Polish winter climbing will always remain a great part of mountaineering history.

R.I.P Artur Hajzer; Source

Update-3 (09-July-13 | 2010hrs PST)
TVN24 quotes Krzysztof Wielicki, "We're trying all the time to connect using a satellite phone to the base of German expedition. Unfortunately there is no answer. Promised an e-mail that will confirm distressing news did not come" - at 15.30 (Polish time).

In his (Krzysztof) opinion, no contact 'confirms the first message'. "I believe in 100 percent, that Marcin wouldn't pass the news, if he was not sure", said Wielicki. He added that Kaczkan will descend to BC tomorrow, perhaps then we can have more details.

Update-2 (09-July-13 | 1645hrs PST)
Following is the account of events narrated by Polish mountaineering officials.

This morning, a group of Russians came to C2 and found Marcin Kaczkan - alive and well. However, we do not know what's going on with Arthur Hajzer and continue further search for him. The last contact with Hajzer was on Sunday at 11:00AM.

On Sunday morning they pushed for summit, starting from the C3. They reached the height of 7600 meters, but turned back due to the strong wind. Upon reaching back in C3, the climbers called BC. They talked with their cook through radio and said that everything is OK and that they’re going to the C2; then BC.

At 11:00AM Polish time [1400hrs local time] Artur Hajzer sent SMS to his wife that Marcin Kaczkan fell in Japanese couloir. Since that time, there has been no communication with Hajzer. Therefore, we tried to organize a search operation. The operation is headed by the leader of the German expedition (Thomas Laemmle). He sent porters on first night (7-8th), but the weather deteriorated. There was heavy snowfall, lack of visibility and porters returned to BC.

Search teams could leave the BC only tonight (as weather improved). Russian climbers reached Camp II and found Marcin there. We will know further details, once we talk directly with Marcin, but its not possible at the moment. We do not know what happened to Arthur. He was not with Marcin.

Artur Hajzer

Update-1 (09-July-13 | 1615hrs PST):
From Polish news reports, it appears that Russian team reached C2, some hours back and found Marcin Kaczkan there, alive. Artur Hajzer is still missing. As per Krzysztof Wielicki, Marcin told the rescue team that Artur had (probably) died but it's not confirmed."I have not spoken with Marcin myself - his words were communicated to me by the climbers who are looking after him," Wielicki stresses.

Since there have been many contradictions in details reaching us since yesterday, we must not presume anything and keep our fingers crossed about positive news from the mountain.


----------- Original Post -----------

Polish climber Krzysztof Wielicki told BBC, that they are unable to contact Gasherbrum-I climbers Artur Hajzer and Marcin Kaczkan. He also said that a Russian team is trying to reach the missing climbers but hurricane wind is presenting great difficulty. It’s feared that Artur and Marcin suffered an accident above Camp-2.

Concordia Rescue Team told Montagna TV about the accident on GI, yesterday evening. Exact details about the accident and current situation of two climbers are not known, at the moment. We must keep fingers crossed for safety and well-being of the climbers.

Recall that, Artur Hajzer and Marcin Kaczkan were on an expedition to attempt GI and GII. The duo was climbing without oxygen and porter support. They reached an altitude of 7000m, before current summit push on GI. They were the first team working on the mountain.

Artur Hajzer, marcin Kaczkan, Polish Himalayan mountaineering winter poles at k2, adam bielecki
File photos of Artur Hajzer and Marcin Kaczkan

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