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with Stefan Nestler

A drone for rescue and more summit successes in the Karakoram

Broad Peak

For me, drones come right after leaf blowers. I find the noise generated by the increasingly popular flying machines extremely annoying. Drones sound like mutated giant bumblebees. Torture for my ears. But even I have to admit: On the eight-thousander Broad Peak in the Karakoram in Pakistan, a drone and the guy who flew it did a great job. Eight days ago, on 9 July, the 64-year-old Briton Rick Allen set off alone for a summit attempt. His teammates stayed in Camp 3 at 7,000 meters. When Rick didn’t return, they sounded the alarm because they feared Allen might have been injured or even died. Sandy Allan, who had already descended to base camp due to strong winds in the summit area, contacted the Polish Bargiel brothers in the nearby K2 Base Camp. Andrzej Bargiel is planning to ski the second highest mountain in the world from the summit to base camp for the first time this summer. His brother Bartek is filming the project – also using a drone.

Thanks to Dan Mazur and Co.

Sandy Allan (l.) and Rick Allen on Nanga Parbat in 2012

Bartek let it take off. With the help of the camera mounted on the drone, Sandy, Andrzej and Bartek were able to find Rick Allen’s exact position and to radio it to Camp 3. A seven-man rescue team, consisting of climbers from the expedition operator “Summit Climb”, managed to climb up to Rick and bring him back to Camp 3 in the dark. “Rick returned to Base Camp on 12 July safely thanks to Dan Mazur (the expedition leader of Summit Climb) and his Sherpas,” Allen’s expedition blog said. “After being examined by a doctor at Base Camp, Rick is okay all things considered and has a few superficial cuts and some frostnip.”

The two Britons Sandy Allan and Rick Allen had landed a coup in the Karakoram in summer 2012. At that time they were the first to reach the summit of Nanga Parbat via the more than ten kilometers long Mazeno Ridge. Allan and Allen had been at very high altitude for 18 days. In 2013, they had been awarded for this amazing ascent the Piolet d’Or, the “Oscar of the Climbers”.

Bielecki and Berg on top of G II

Camp 3 on Gasherbrum II

Meanwhile, further summit successes were reported from the Karakoram: According to Polish media reports on Monday, 35-year-old Pole Adam Bielecki and 37-year-old German Felix Berg reached the 8,034-meter-high summit of Gasherbrum II. “We managed to traverse the summit – we reached it by the fragile and surprisingly difficult West Face and went down the regular route (via the Southwest Ridge),” Adam wrote on Facebook. Their companions Jacek Czech, also from Poland, and Boris Dedeshko from Kazakhstan had wanted to climb via the normal route, but had turned around at 7,500 and 7,800 meters respectively, said Bielecki. It was his fifth eight-thousander, for Felix Berg after Mount Everest (in 2004), Broad Peak (in 2014) and Cho Oyu (in spring 2018) the fourth success on one of the 14 highest mountains in the world.

First summit success on Broad Peak

Yesterday, ten climbers from the Austrian expedition operator “Furtenbach Adventures” according to their own words reached the summit of Broad Peak at 8,051 meters. The group had abandoned their first summit bid last week because the avalanche danger had been still too great at that time. The first summit attempts of this summer season have also begun on K2.


17. July 2018 | 14:19