Czech Climber Zdenek Hruby Died on Gasherbrum I

After success on both Gasherbrum peaks, the Czech Gasherbrum Expedition ended on tragic noted. It’s reported that Zdenek Hruby died on descent after unsuccessfully attempting a virgin route on Southwest Face of Gasherbrum I. The 57years old Zdenek Hruby was one of the leading climbers from Czech Republic and also the president of Czech Mountaineering Federation.

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Marek Holecek (left) and Zdenek Hruby (right). Source

Four members Czech Gasherbrum team consisted of Marek Holecek, Zdenek Hruby, Marek Novotny and Tomas Petrecek. While Marek Novotny and Tomas Petrecek attempted GI via normal route and later climbed GII, the objective of Marek Holecek and Zdenek Hruby was more challenging. They were trying to complete the new route on SW Face of GI, which they attempted in 2009. That year, they had to abort the summit bid at 7500m as Zdenek developed some health problems - as Marek Holecek recalls, “(it was a) ruptured gastric ulcer and practically he couldn’t move or absorb water let alone the food”. Holecek accompanied him and both of them made it to BC, safely. Zdenek believed, "It is certain that without Marek, I wouldn’t have been here".

Together Marek Holecek and Zdenek Hruby started a project “Never Stop Exploring”. In spring this year, they achieved the first ascent of the North Face of Talung (7,349 m), in alpine style. Their next target was first ascent of SW Face of GI, for which they arrived at Base Camp around mid of July. By the end of July, they were acclimatized and waiting for a weather window to kick off the summit climb.

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The GI SW Wall route attempted by Marek and Zdenek in 2009. Source

Although details of ascent and precise information about death of Zdenek are not available yet, lidovky.cz has quoted Marek Holecek, "It was a moment of inattention. Zdenek slipped and fell about a thousand meters down into the crevasses". Rest of the team is fine and it’s believed that they are already on the way back to Islamabad.

Message on Marcek Holecek's Facebook page reads, "Unfortunately confirm the tragic message, Zdenek when descending from the GI was swept away by an avalanche:-(. Marek should be OK on the way back, this time between BC and Islamabad."

Earlier on August 9th, Tomas Petrecek's home team reported that Tomas and Marek Novotny has made it to the top of GII, their second 8000er of the season. Previously, they summited GI via normal route on July 28th.

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