Perseverance has finally paid off.
Poles have clinched yet another winter summit,
battling the gruesome Karakorum and have emerged the conquerors of the latest 8000er, Gasherbrum-1 in Pakistan.
On 9th March 2012, approximately at 8:30 AM local time, Adam Bielecki and Janusz Gołąb reached the top of the 8,080m peak, pulling another feather in the already blistering cap of the Polish mountaineers.
The team has been wrestling to reach the top through the Japanese Couloirs but suffered consecutive setbacks as the fierce winds and raging storms prevented the Polish team to pitch a summit push. Their previous attempt a week ago was thwarted by the dreaded peak and the climbers barely managed to reach the Base Camp amid dangerous conditions.
They waited for another week before the winds finally dropped to allow them another push for the summit.
Agnieszka Bielecka, the Base Camp leader reported:
“A four-person expedition of Polish Mountaineering Association initiated by President of the Sport Commission, Ireneusz Raś MP, and under the honorary patronage of Bronisław Komorowski, President of the Republic of Poland, has achieved a historical success in Karakoram. The ascent was made via the so-called Japanese route from the North-West side. The conquerors made their ascent of the mountain without oxygen. The expedition established the base camp on 21st January 2012 and the summit was reached on the 49th day counting from the beginning of operations. The winter ascent of an eight-thousander in Karakoram is second in the history. Artur Hajzer led the expedition, whereas Agnieszka Bielecka, an alpinist, was the leader of the base camp. Moreover, two Pakistani climbers (Ali Sadpara and Shaheen Baig) supported the expedition. The expedition is co-financed by resources of the Ministry of Sport and PKN Orlen”.
Meanwhile, International team led by Gerfried
Goschl, who were pitched in an attempt to reach the peak via a new route from the south side, are still on their way to the top and if they are able to scale the summit, this would be considered a joint first ascent by both teams as agreed earlier.
Gasherbrum-1, one of the five 8000ers in Pakistan is the second 8000er which has been successfully scaled in winters. The first one, Gasherbrum-2 was scaled in winters last year by the legendary Simone Moro who led the three-member team comprising of Dennis Urubko and Cory Richards.
Three remaining 8000ers, namely K-2, Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak are yet to be conquered for the first time in winters.
pakistan-explorer would like to extend heartiest congratulations to the Polish team on their historical success.