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with Stefan Nestler

Czechs on Nanga Parbat: “Like frozen fish fillets”

In the Rupal Face

“To paraphrase Shakespeare: living on without summit or voting for death.” This is how Marek Holecek described the decision that he and his team mate Tomas Petrecek had to make last Sunday at the exit of the mighty Rupal Face, 300 meters below the summit of Nanga Parbat. Gusts of wind of up to 100 kilometers per hour blew over the 8,125-meter-high mountain in Pakistan, the ninth highest in the world. After six days in the wall, the two Czech climbers decided to turn around.

Like cabriolet trip without windscreen

Marek Holecek (l.) and Tomas Petrecek (r.) in base camp

“Now, it is a certainty that 4,000 meters can be climbed down, without one step with the forehead to the valley,” Marek described on the descent through the extremely difficult south face of the eight-thousander. It was like a cabriolet trip without a windscreen in the ice storm, the 43-year-old said: “You’ll find out how frozen fish fillets feel.”

The main thing is to survive!

According to his words, they lost everything on the mountain, food, ice screws, bolts, rope, “many pounds of our weight, nerves”. But, said Marek: “We are back and still alive.” Holecek and Petrecek had planned to climb without bottled oxygen through the Rupal Face, traverse the summit of Nanga Parbat and descend into the Diamir Valley on the west side of the mountain – like the South Tyrolean brothers Reinhold and Günther Messner did in 1970. Günther Messner had died in the Diamir flank at that time.

In summer 2017, Holecek had opened a new route through the Southwest Face of the eight-thousander Gasherbrum I in the Karakoram, climbing in Alpine style with his compatriot Zdenek Hak.


5. September 2018 | 12:26