This article first appeared on http://explorersweb.com. The original can be read here.
Polish duo Jarosław Gawrysiak and Wojtek Flaczyński reached the summit of Nanda Devi East. They left from Camp 3 at 6,800m, after a week-long summit push. At last word, the climbers had descended to 7,313m. Conditions were initially good, but then strong winds picked up and visibility decreased to 30m.
Nanda Devi East from Base Camp. Photo: Polish Anniversary Expedition
Nanda Devi is the second tallest mountain in India and the highest entirely located within the country’s boundaries, since Kangchenjunga is partly in Nepal. Its main peak reaches 7,816m, while Nanda Devi East is slightly lower, at 7,434m.
The expedition commemorates the 80th anniversary of the first ascent of Nanda Devi East, which was also Poland’s first Himalayan success. Back in 1939, the Garhwal Himalaya brought glory but also death to the Polish pioneers. That year, on July 2, Jakub Bujak and Janusz Klarner stood on the summit, the highest point ever attained by Polish climbers and the sixth tallest peak summited overall.
Climbing towards the summit of Nanda Devi East. Photo: Polish Anniversary Expedition
Later on that same expedition, teammates Adam Karpiński and Stefan Bernadzikiewicz perished in an avalanche on neighboring Tirsuli (7,074m), and their bodies were never recovered.
Gawrysiak’s current team combines seasoned climbers such as Dariusk Zaluski and Rafal Fronia with some promising youngsters, including rising star Filip Babicz and Jakub Bujak, the grandson of one of the 1939 summiters.
The expedition also intends to knit the team together and give those who need it high-altitude experience for the Poles’ much-anticipated 2020-21 attempt on winter K2.
by Angela Benavides