2 reports

Avalanche at 6,600 meters. Second b...


Natasha Poletaeva

41 years,Russia

3 years ago

Avalanche at 6,600 meters. Second birthday!

Vitaliy Laso reports from Nanga Parbat.

«We finished 5-days acclimatization ascent, and now  — all well when it ends well — we are alive and kicking. Although yesterday, at 5,400 m, during split seconds spent under the avalanche, I think over many things...

Now in order. Just not as usual — day 1, day 2, etc. I will start with the final day, since the “yesterday” day was the most important one in my life.

Avalanche at 6,600 meters. Second birthday!

My second birthday, 06.23.2019

I was abseiling by fixed rope from under Kinshofer wall to the camp on 5,300 meters; and it remains about 100 m through 45-degrees slope… I reached belay station in order to clip, and… And then... Above the head, on the side, I heard a loud noise, and lift my head. And thought: this is the end! The avalanche was sprint on me! AVALANCHE! The distance between us was 50-80 meters. It flew off the rock wall, cascaded over the cliff and rushed on me. I do not know how I managed, but in a second or less I clipped the rope into the carbine and in two jumps hid under a vertical rock ledge.

I totally grow into the wall! White shroud, nothing can be seen, a stream of snow hits helmet and the shoulders… Thanks God, the main mass passes over me, but it is difficult to breathe…

The background thought was: "I will not give up, not now!". The snow seems to weak, but it is everywhere — glasses, helmet, everything was covered with snow. But I am on the spot, under the ledge, alive and even whole! I can hear the Cala’s cries from above, but can’t make out anything while I in a stressful state. Gathered together, I got GoPro to record my feelings. And here, the second avalanche falls down! This time quite small, it not even touched me».

Cala Cimenti reports:

«The night was long at the 6,600 m in Camp 3, the second night. It has snowed all night long, and we were a little afraid about the avalanche danger, but anyway that morning we were happy to have completed the four nights’ acclimation period and finally to go back to Base Camp. We waited for the sun come and started to go down. Everything was good, the weather was good and we were descending as a harmonious team.

Vitaly also used drone twice and second time he went close to lose it. So in the first part of the afternoon we already descended and filmed by drone the Kinshofer wall and Vitaly started to go further in front of us in order to reach the Middle Camp earlier to make some shooting more.

I was fifty meters upon him, and Anton fifty meters upon me, fixing some ropes. At that moment I heard a big noise and, watching down, saw a big amount of white material falling down on Vitaly. I screamed on him to take care but the noise was so big and he already knew, so I saw him to make a run worthy of a ‘Snow Leopard’ like he is and spalm on the rock like a sole. Finally, all the raw material passed on his head beating him only with white dust. After few minutes another little avalanche tried to take him without success. I reached him at the Middle Camp and he was happy to be alive, but happier not to have lost the drone. So from that point we started to ski and enjoyed a great ski descend on the glacier and finally the chips at the Base Camp».


Join the growing Alpine Community now.