More DW Blogs DW.COM

Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Czechs complete new route on Gasherbrum I

Marek Holecek, in the background Gasherbrum I

Marek Holecek has fulfilled his great dream. In the fifth run, the 43-year-old Czech climber completed a new route via the Southwest Face of the eight-thousander Gasherbrum I. On Monday, Marek, according to his own words, reached together with his countryman Zdenek Hak the 8,080 meter-high-summit of the mountain in the Karakoram, which is also called Hidden Peak. Today they returned to the base camp safe and sound, but “dead tired, smelly, emaciated more than the world’s top models”, as Marek told the Czech website “”.


Tragic accident in the second attempt

Route via the G I Southwest Face

In 2009 and 2013 Holecek had tried to open this new route on G I along with Zdenek Hruby. In their first attempt the two climbers had to turn around at 7,500 meters, because Hruby suffered from a ruptured gastric ulcer. The try in 2013 ended tragically: At almost 7,000 meters Hruby slipped and fell to death. Zdenek, who was then president of the Czech Mountaineering Association, died on his 57th birthday. Hruby was one of the most experienced climbers in his country, he had scaled eight eight-thousanders.

Frostbite on toes

In his third attempt in 2015, together with Tomas Petrecek, Holecek reached an altitude of 7,300, before bad weather stopped the two climbers. In 2016, Holecek returned to Gasherbrum I, this time with Ondra Madula. Then it was over at 7,700 meters, once again due to bad weather. Marek suffered frostbite at his toes. Even this couldn’t stop Holecek. Now he did it. Congratulations, Marek, your persistence has been rewarded!


1. August 2017 | 11:44