italian adventurer and explorer, was born in a little village of the North East Alpine Region Friuli.
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A great start for climbing season in Patagonia, with the feat of the French Martín Elías, Jérome Sullivan and François Poncet who have opened a new path, “La Mariposa” (1200 mt, A3, M7, 6a) between 18 and 19 October on the inviolate spire of the South Pillar of Cerro San Lorenzo, called “El Faro” (3150 mt)
South Pillar Cerro San Lorenzo
“We started climbing at 10 in the morning, the forecast gave good conditions of high pressure until the next night, so we had 48 hours. First a part of technical climbing on mixed terrain and good rock, after we reached a ramp of snow and ice that we had identified during the previous exploration. From here, untied we quickly climbed the ramp of over 500 meters, with access to the steepest part of the wall. We climbed quickly and this made us hope to be able to sleep on the hill – but when we reached the end of the ramp, we realized that the bad conditions of the snow, the rock and the lack of ice would have created many problems and slowed down. When the night reached us I was climbing the first 30 meters of what would become the key section of the whole street: a vertical 80-meter chimney covered in snow, which I miss the words to describe the ugly quality of the rock. “Loose” is not suitable. “An asco” as the locals say! “
At this point the team rappelled down 30 meters, grading the ice for an uncomfortable bivouac. The next morning they started climbing rock and ice of extremely poor quality. Finally, a transit on the north wall, where they completed the three final shots of brine rock up to the summit, reached at dusk.
“We constantly questioned about chance of summit, with all that snow, the horrible rock and the adverse weather – in our experience, the weather at San Lorenzo range is always worse than expected – being on top was really a magical moment”
Patagonia / Upcoming
Denis Urubko, the strong russian Himalayst (Polish naturalized, living in Italy), will be in Patagonia to try Cerro Torre – and perhaps Fitz Roy – in duo with the strong Maria “Pipi” Cardell, with whom he has shown excellent harmony already in 2017 (Pik Chapaev in Kyrgyzstan, nomination at Piolet D’Or) and last 2018 Summer in Georgia (long route up Mt Ushba, 4710mt). After 2 months that they will spend in Patagonia, starting from the end of November, they aim to try a new route on Gasherbrum II , during Summer 2019.
Also coming soon in El Chalten, two more “light” expeditions from Italy: Hervè Barmasse, arriving in the next days and in January the President of famed “Ragni di Lecco” climbing team, as well patagonia “champion”, Matteo Della Bordella. Their climbing goals remains unknown as today.
Pumori , October 25 2018
The Romanian trio made up of alpinists Romeo Popa, Zsolt Torok and Teofil Vlad has opened a new route on the South East wall of the Pumori, the iconic 7161 meter peak that overlooks the Everest Circus.
The new route, very cool for logic and sustained difficulty, is mainly on ice with some mixed climbing difficult to protect; it run for 1100 meters, reaching the summit ridge at 6700. 5 necessary bivouacs, three of which on the wall and the last two on the ridge; a day of rest the first, then the second day the final attack, which occurred facing winds up to 100 kmh.
everest,lhotse e nuptse in background ( Romica Popa, Zsolt Torok and Teofil Vlad )
The descent took place 1000 meters of rappelling along the west wall. The difficulty has been classified as AI 4, R (the degree should be in Romanian system, indicates a medium difficulty like D type , French reference ).
Lunag Ri , October 28 – 2018
David Lama has realized the dream, long pursued, to climb the Lunag Ri (6905 meters), and he did it alone: after the famous 2 attempts in duo with Conrad Anker, the last of which ended with a dramatic retreat following a heart attack that affected Conrad. For now, we do not know the details of the climb, which theoretically should be the completion of previous attempts, with ascent on colouir running the base in the center left of the photo, then along the ridge up to the summit.
Marco Milanese, from Friuli, born in 1987, studied at the Liceo Scientifico and at the same time carried out professional experience as a rugby player. He started Forestry Sciences, then the mountain “called” him : he then became an Alpine Mountain Guide since 2011, slackliner from 2013, base jumper, wing pilot and speedflyer since 2014.
Marco is getting noticed, since a couple of years, for his very interesting adventures that have had a good echo on social media: he’s not like a compulsive video poster, but in its adventures it is always present a character of experimentation or exploration in the broadest sense, such as the base jump from the Bell Tower of Val Montanaia, the speedflying of a volcano, a trip to Turkey with many base and wingsuit jumps and highlines ; his most recent feat, realized in late August was the freesolo climb of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in Dolomites, with descent through base and wingsuit base jump from all three peaks.
The following is an interview that has kindly released us – and hopefully will make you understand more deeply the path, the motivations, the emotions that Marco Milanese puts into play in his intense life between Earth and Heaven, looking for a Equilibrium.
Marco : Your progression, your path in balance between climbing and jumping, is something really impressive. By reading your resumé, I have the idea of a kind of monk, because the extensive and fast training in the individual disciplines you have faced, considering the complexity and hardness in managing each one of them. Is that it? Do you have a common methodical approach on all your projects? And if so, what are your greatest difficulties, the limits that you recognize ?
I come from professional rugby so at the beginning of my activity I moved this type of approach in climbing and mountaineering in general, but lately, also because of the work as a mountain guide, I cannot train so constantly. Fortunately I still have a little ‘margin physically speaking, but lately I’m mainly training the mind, which is something you can not do in a climbing panel, you have to go out, you have to be exposed. I do not have a common approach to projects except for the fact that when they start to turn around in my head they do not leave me alone, I practice too many different activities that require very different approaches. The limits that I recognize are certainly not having a physical-fit body for climbing at high levels, and a mind that does not bear too much long drudgin’ around. I’m more a type of “Fast & furious” but who knows what will happen to me soon or later …
I have a curiosity about your path between disciples : I know that generally at least a 200 jumps from the plane are considered indispensable before the transit to the base jump. More to wear a wingsuit, both in the air then to Alpine Base. But there are exceptions. Can you tell us something about it? What or who inspired you on this road of jumping, which strongly intersect with mountaineering ?
I have always had a strong attraction towards emptiness, it relaxes me, makes me think more clearly. I researched it at the beginning with the climbing.. because it was the most obvious thing, then with the highline and finally, thanks to a left wrist injury that did not allow me to climb, but to open a parachute, I threw myself in this adventure .
The “normal” route to jump from the mountains with a wingsuit is long. You need 200 jumps from the plane before you can wear a small beginner jumpsuit, as you need 200 to do a base jumping course. Then the two things come together, the basejumping and the wingsuit. I say that I have speeded up a few steps – but I want to assure you that I have never skipped any step!
The unaware people in this base world… they are another thing, is just a new type of a suicide (because it is not possible to assimilate it to the world of BASE) ..there was one guy that had 5 jumps from the plane and no experience of mountain ,nor wing suit who decided to try, easy no? He will have seen it many times in the videos. I let you imagine the bitter end. Combining mountaineering and BASE has become something natural for me, but in a right way.
As for your professional job as Alpine Guide, I imagine it is your solid point for your financial support – and main source to have budget for other activities. Is it like that or are you also having satisfactions with some sponsors for the missions, you’ve made?
Yes, let’s say that at the moment the only economic support is the alpine guidejob, sometimes also I do some Highline shows with my girlfriend- she’s dancing on the aerial fabrics but nothing more, apart from Monvic who generously provides me with the clothes to climb and PhoenixFly who supplies me with wing suits at very low prices. As for now, nobody sponsored me and I did not look for them. If you have someone for shoes and clothes in goratex let me know, I do not need much more.
Recently you have made a trip to Turkey, on Facebook you have posted very beautiful images showing a country in great growth, talking about the presence of beautiful mountains and sites suitable for flights, base , climbing, highlining. Can you summarize brifly your experiences and numbers, how long were the approach, how many jumps, how many days? To get an idea of how intense was that whole experience.
This experience was a real exploration trip in the mountains of the far north-east of Turkey. Thanks to a local jumper. the government of the region has supported us with all possible means, pickups, bulldozers to clean the streets, ambulances to landings, boats for water rescue. The first week we were in Uzundere where we practically went around, we looked at a mountain we found a way to climb it (generally very easy because they built dirt roads everywhere to build electricity pylons) and jumped with or without wingsuit. I personally opened two new exits on the day of my birthday. Then we jumped ruined castles, antennas and lower walls. Everything we saw as safe we jumped it, what an experience!
The second week we were in the park of Kamalye, already known for the climb (little), bike, and the base, here people knew English and were not as conservative as in the first village we visited. 15 busted jumpers were welcomed with open arms with the greetings of the authorities and the beginning of the jumps with the wingsuit over the village. Later we jumped from a stretched cable above the euphrates with a small chairlift created for the occasion. They sent us downtown with this seat and then jumped! wooooow.
Numbers I do not know, we did at least 3 jumps on average days. Many kilometers, also because the two localities were 600 km from each other. So much kebab was especially full of Turks! (laughs)…
The debate about the extreme danger of the wingsuit used in BASE, even more in Alpine contexts, is quite lively, you have personally experienced in an article on the motivations of some time ago, with comments on social media showing a brutal cynicism for those who practice a discipline so extreme (and I add, often dictated by ignorance in the narrowest sense of the word). I ask you brutally: do you look for increasingly difficult proximity lines, more complex exits, launch after launch? Or do you impose a kind of control over your limits? How do you prepare a launch from a new exit, alone or with the companions change things?
It is a new sport that has yet to know its limits, people speak because they do not know well what they are talking about, as always. How often we “alpinists” or “climbers” have heard that we are unconscious.
The truth is that there is a world behind that few know, and often is misrepresented by criminal journalists or suicide madmen who want to throw at all costs because it is cool. But nobody talks about 60-year-olds who have made the history of this sport with an impressive amount of jumps (we are talking about 3-4000 jumps only of basejump).
However returning to us, in general I always look for a good reason to jump, this can be a difficult exit or a line of aesthetic proximity but can also be jumps with friends and follow each other, or do somersaults just for the sake of seeing the your friend make them next to you. Lately I try instead to find a beautiful mountain to climb and jump, no need to have a difficult jump.
A new exit…I prepare it very carefully, we have a lot of data available on our flights thanks to special gps and flight schedules and with lasers to measure the new exits and know if they are feasible, I study and review the data until I am sure that be feasible with an adequate safety margin, look good atmospheric conditions and good thermals and then go!
How did you prepare the triptych on the Cime di Lavaredo? I read on planetmountain that you heard Thomas Huber, who in 2008 drew a first idea of concatenation with a base jump..da what did you have in mind this project?
This project was born a few years ago when for the first time I jumped the big top. The chaining was a natural idea that jumped into my mind. I just had to wait for the right time, when I had already a bit of training with this style behind me. Last year for example I climbed the socondo edge in Tofana and at the top I jumped with the suit, in total from machine to car I took 2 hours and 15 minutes if I’m not mistaken, I realized that I could also try on the three peaks .
I spoke with Huber asking him about the jump from the west of Lavaredo but then I decided to change the program and it’s over that I opened a new exit on the west.
The logistics of this nice trip was not easy because having only two parachutes I had to fold one, also one of the main problems was that I had to find the point from where to jump on the small and west.
Arrived at the start of the path to the small top of Lavaredo I left a parachute and I climbed with the other, I climbed the normal which is a way of IV, I dropped and found the exit I jumped. I folded the parachute near the church and I headed on the two north, left a parachute at the base of the edge Dibona I headed to the edge Demuth, climbed this halfway I found a perfect exit and I jumped, you can not jump from no part higher than the yellow cliffs because then the wall is supported. Finally I went back to the Dibona corner and with the suit and the other parachute I climbed the corner, among other things, as a bad cloud was coming I ran like crazy going up in less than an hour. At the top I wore the suit and off to the last jump with landing on soft grass.
An almost mystical experience but lived smoothly, reviewing the videos I discovered that I often sang songs while climbing 🙂
Thanking you for your time, the final question is: where are you going? I do not care much about knowing the next project, but understanding from you if you have identified a path or some medium /long term goal.
The ultimate goal is always as they say in English “having a good time” but certainly the climb and fly will have a central place, I think it is the purest form to climb a mountain. Attached with a parachute in the back, without using stopping nails and ropes, fast both in the ascent and in the descent. You do not need to leave traces on the mountain, as if to say “I have passed by here” by planting a nail. It leaves everything intact. Pure.
LATOK I : The (Un)Finished Business
“the unfinished business of last generation”, così Jeff Lowe, autore del primo storico tentativo di 100 tiri, su 103 previsti più o meno, definisce la cresta Nord del Latok I.
Avevano superato le difficoltà maggiori ma brutto tempo e le condizioni di salute dello stesso Jeff Lowe, costrinsero i 4 grandi alpinisti americani al rientro.
Uno dei più grandiosi fallimenti in stile alpino, che ha ispirato generazioni di alpinisti di tutto il mondo a riprovarci, senza mai avvicinarsi non alla vetta ma nemmeno ai 7000 su 7145 mt del 1978.
Le prime anticipazioni della clamorosa salita di un trio Anglo Soveno, composto da Ales Cesen, Luka Strazar e Tom Livingstone . parlano di una variante che ha evitato la parte finale della cresta ; quale sia la via scelta, questa impresa è comunque storica, stupefacente. E’ la seconda assoluta al Latok I.
Basti dire che per Tom Livingstone era la prima grande spedizione, anche se il giovane 27enne gallese ha nel suo carnet un’invernale allo Sperone Walker. numerose difficili invernali in Scozia, e una spedizione in Alaska. Di Ales Cesen, 36 anni che dire? Un fuoriclasse capace di scalare tutto in Yosemite, in Himalaya, in Karakorum il Giv ; Luka Strazar, a 22 anni nel 2011 una prima sul K7 e molto altro.
È con una certa emozione, dunque, che aspettiamo di vedere la partitura scelta in quest’opera, compiuta in una settimana, dal giovane trio, che anche se non chiude l’ ” unfinished business”, renderà Jeff Lowe molto contento, anche per il salvataggio del russo Guzov che su Facebook lo stesso Lowe ha seguito e commentato con apprensione : è a lui, a George Lowe, a Jim Donini, a Michael Kennedy, che va il tributo riconoscente e ammirato per un’ispirazione durata 40 anni.
..ma il nostro pensiero speciale va al giovane alpinista russo Sergey Glazunov , morto recentemente mentre scendeva in doppia, dopo un tentativo con Alexander Gukov , quest’ultimo salvato dopo una terribile settimana in parete da piloti pakistani militari…
Secondo le testimonianze di Alexander Gukov, che ha dimostrato un’onestà sincera, Sergey è uscito dalla parete raggiungendo2 l’anticima del Latok I, appena 50 metri sotto ; Sergey era convinto fosse la cima, ma Alexander, secondo di cordata, dalla sua prospettiva si è accorto che la cima vera era poco più distante. Detto questo, capiamo come i russi abbiano quasi sicuramente superato il limite raggiunto dagli americani nel 1978 e percorso integralmente la cresta Nord.
Purtroppo, sappiamo cosa è successo in seguito.
Anna Piunova, redattrice in capo del prestigioso sito russo mountain.ru, instancabile organizzatrice e punto focale anche per i soccorsi all’alpinista russo bloccato a 6200 metri, ha ricevuto il seguente SMS da Aleš Cesen:
” Abbiamo seguito la cresta nord per 2/3, poi ci siamo spostati a destra, salendo il colle tra il Latok I e II, infine abbiamo continuato sulla parete Sud fino alla cima. Per noi, era la linea più logica e sicura in quella situazione. Ci abbiamo messo sette giorni, tra scalata e discesa.”
Nei prossimi giorni sapremo di più sulla seconda salita assoluta del Latok I da Cesen & Co., avremo maggiori dettagli sulla salita di Gukov e non dimentichiamo che alla base della montagna pakistana dovrebbe esserci un certo Thomas Huber ….
Le vie sui Latok
In una documentata ricerca di Stefano Lovison su alpinesketches pubblicata nel 2014, che riprende a sua volta uno splendido articolo di Montagne 360° di Carlo Caccia, troviamo una cronologia dei tentativi al Latok I, per la maggior parte sulla inviolata cresta Nord (cit), che riportiamo, integrandola con i tentativi salienti, dal 2015 fino ad oggi. Prima, ringraziando ancora Stefano Lovison, riprendiamo la sua bella mappa fotografica, con indicazione di alcune vie e vari tentativi, aggiungendo le probabili linee delle 2 spedizioni recenti, la russa e la angloslovena di questo Agosto 2018 :
Un team giapponese guidato da Makoto Hara circumnaviga il gruppo dei Latok via Biafo, Simgang, Choktoi, Panmah e ghiacciai Baltoro. Valanghe e frane impediscono qualsiasi tentativo significativo.
Un team giapponese guidato da Yoshifumi Itatani tenta il couloir tra i Látok I e III (Látok Est), raggiungendo circa 5.700 m. prima di tornare indietro di fronte alla caduta di seracchi.
Un team italiano guidato da Arturo Bergamaschi esplora il percorso tentato dai giapponesi nel 1976 ma decide che è troppo pericoloso. Fanno la prima salita della Latok II dal ghiacciaio Baintha Lukpar.
Gli americani Jim Donini, Michael Kennedy, Jeff Lowe e George Lowe tentano la lunghissima cresta nord, impiegando 26 giorni in capsula-style . Raggiungono in punto più alto finora raggiunto a circa 7000 m.
Un team giapponese guidato da Naoki Takada compie la prima (e finora unica) salita del Latok I attraverso la parete sud. Dopo un lungo assedio e con l’impiego di molte corde fisse e tre campi a sinistra del canalone tra Latok I e III, sei alpinisti raggiungono la cima.
I britannici Martin Boysen, Choe Brooks, Rab Carrington e John Yates tentano la cresta nord due volte, la seconda fino ad un punto a circa 5.800 m.
I norvegesi Olav Basen, Fred Husøy, Magnar Osnes e Oyvind Vlada tentano la cresta nord, fissando almeno 600 metri di corde fisse e di raggiungendo i 6.400 m. dopo 18 giorni di scalata. Passano altri 10 giorni tra bufera e neve pesante prima di arrendersi.
I francesi Roger Laot, Remy Martin e Laurent Terray installano corde fisse sui primi 600 metri della cresta nord. Per una forte nevicata tornano indietro da un’altezza di circa 6.000 m.
I britannici Sandy Allan, Rick Allen, Doug Scott e Simon Yates e l’austriaco Robert Schauer compiono una serie di ascensioni nella zona ma non tentano quello che è il loro obiettivo primario a causa di condizioni difficili e pericolose e per la molta neve sulla cresta nord del Latok I.
Jeff Lowe e Catherine Destivelle tentano la cresta nord, incontrando enormi funghi di neve sul percorso. Carol McDermott (Nuova Zelanda) e Andy McFarland, Andy MacNae e Dave Wills (Gran Bretagna) raggiungono circa i 5900 m. sulla cresta durante due tentativi nella stessa spedizione.
Gli americani Julie Brugger, Andy DeKlerk, Colin Grissom e Kitty Calhoun tentano la cresta nord, tornando a circa 5.500 m. a causa del brutto tempo.
Gli alpinisti britannici Brendan Murphy e Wills Dave tentano la cresta nord raggiungendo i 5600 m. sul loro secondo tentativo.
Murphy e Wills ritornano sulla cresta nord, raggiungendo circa 6100 m. metri prima del ritiro a causa della perdita di uno zaino. Due tentativi successivi sono ostacolati a 5900 m. dal cattivo tempo.
Gli americani John Bouchard e Mark Richey tentano la cresta per tre volte, l’ultima con Tom Nonis e Barry Rugo, raggiungendo il punto più alto a 6100 m. A differenza delle precedenti spedizioni, riscontrano temperature elevate e condizioni di asciutto che portano alla caduta di rocce dalla parte alta della parete.
Seguendo un pilastro di roccia dal fondo della parete, trovano una linea superba con difficoltà fino a 5.10. Torneranno l’anno successivo sulla North Ridge per un altro infruttuoso tentativo a causa del maltempo.
Wojciech Kurtyka (Polonia) e Yasushi e Taeko Yamanoi (Giappone) hanno un permesso per la cresta nord ma non riescono ad attaccare a causa di avverse condizioni meteorologiche.
Stein Gravdal, Halvor Hagen, Ole Haltvik e Trym Saeland (Norvegia) raggiungono circa 6.250 m. dopo 15 giorni sulla via.
I fratelli Benegas (Argentina) tentano la cresta nord per tre anni di fila. I primi due anni avversati dal cattivo tempo nonostante le ottime condizioni della montagna.
Nell’agosto del 2006 una forte tempesta li ferma a circa 5500 m.
Maxime Turgeon e Louis-Philippe Menard (Canada) tentano la futuristica parete nord, ritirandosi da 5.300 m. a causa del gran caldo e delle condizioni estremamente pericolose della parete. Rivolgono quindi la loro attenzione sulla cresta nord ma si ritirano per la troppa neve fresca.
Tentativo degli americani Bean Bower e Josh Wharton
Secondo tentativo di Wharton e Bowers che tentano la cresta ma sono avversati dal maltempo. Due soli giorni di bel tempo non permettono che il raggiungimento di 5500 m. di quota prima del ritiro.
Josh Wharton, Colin Haley e Dylan Johnson sono respinti dalla cresta nord del Latok I , dopo aver bivaccato a quota 5830 metri.
Álvaro Novellón e Óscar Pérez tentano la cresta raggiungendo circa i 5.800 m per le pessime condizioni della neve.
Decidono quindi di cambiare obiettivo focalizzandosi sul Latok II (7.108 m) dove riusciranno nella prima salita completa della cresta nord-ovest. Questa notevole scalata purtroppo finirà in tragedia, quando per una caduta durante la discesa rimane gravemente ferito Pérez. Nell’impossibilità di trasportare il compagno, Novellón scende da solo per chiedere aiuto, creando una grande mobilitazione internazionale di salvataggio.
Immobilizzato a 6500 metri sulla cresta nord-ovest del Latok II con una gamba e una mano fratturate, abbandonato alla sua sorte, per Óscar Pérez non fu più possibile alcun soccorso.
I Giri-Giri Boys Fumitaka Ichimura, Yusuke Sato e Katsutaka ‘Jumbo’ Yokoyama si ritirano dalla cresta nord a circa 5.900 metri per le condizioni di neve molto pericolose. Prima di questo tentativo la squadra aveva provato l’impressionante parete nord raggiungendo un’altezza di circa 5.900 metri.
Ermanno Salvaterra, Andrea Sarchi, Cege Ravaschietto, Marco Majori e Bruno Mottini.
Dopo aver passato 6 giorni in parete e aver raggiunto quota 5.300 metri circa sono costretti al ritiro per il maltempo e pericolo di valanghe.
Tentativo dei russi Oleg Koltunov, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Shaman Valera e Ruslan Kirichenko.
Thomas Huber rinuncia al tentativo per condizioni impossibili della parete
Thomas Huber al Latok I con Toni Gutsch, Sebi Brutscher, Max Reichel e gli statunitensi Jim Donini, George Lowe e Thom Engelbach . George e Jim, reduci del 1978, assieme a Thom per una scalata commemorativa in un 6000 della zona. Il dramma sull’Ogre II e la scomparsa dei fortissimi Adamson e Webster, spingono Thomas Huber a prendere parte a un tentativo di salvataggio, con salita della cresta a 6200 mt sull’Ogre II, dopo le infruttuose ricerche in elicottero. Il team, nonostante Huber volesse fare un tentativo, decide di non affrontare la cresta del Latok I per le condizioni della parete, oltre al segno lasciato dal dramma sull’Ogre II
Tentativo dei russi Alexander Gukov e Sergey Glazunov. Sergey Glazunov guida da primo l’ultimo tiro su una torre in uscita dalla cresta Nord, convinto di essere in cima . Al rientro, Glazunov muore per caduta e Gukov rimane bloccato per giorni a 6200 metri, prima del salvataggio in extremis, compiuto dai coraggiosi piloti dell’Askari Aviation militare, tramite longline. Proprio in questi giorni Gukov, dall’ospedale, testimonia che secondo lui hanno scalato tutta la cresta ma che la torre era circa 50 metri più in basso della vera cima. Analizzando la topologia, se verrà confermata questa versione, la cresta nord è stata integralmente scalata. Il team anglo sloveno composto da Cesen, Livingstone e Strazar, compie una salita della cresta nord “per 2/3, poi traversando sul colle tra Latok I e II, transitando sulla Sud per arrivare in cima..la linea più sicura e logica per noi..” . Insomma, una variante della via del 1978 con probabili innesti su vie già percorse, parzialmente, ma comunque seconda assoluta del Latok I. Thomas Huber è in arrivo sulla montagna, al momento in cui scriviamo: vuole effettuare un tentativo dopo la consueta stagione, convinto che il riscaldamento globale possa aver posticipato i tempi proficui per un tentativo alla cresta Nord. Non sappiamo se ha cambiato idea…
The exceptional images of the drone piloted by Bartek Bargiel, brother of mountaineer Andzrej (engaged in the attempt to climb the K2 and subsequent descent with ski), which show Rick Allen on Broad Peak, reported missing and probably died as a result of non-return from his solitary summit attempt.
Rick Allen, a very tough Scottish hide, had fallen for a few hundred meters, fortunately without serious injuries, but had found himself out.
Thanks to the help of the drone (and the cook of the expedition, the first to have spotted his backpack with the Camp Base telescope) the rescuers happily met and helped get off Rick, then evacuated by helicopter.
OFFICIAL Medical Statement released by LUDOVIC GIAMBIASI, MANAGER OF ELIZABETH REVOL
After talking with Elisabeth here is my opinion about the pathology probably responsible for the death of Tomek.
He had been ill for a few days, his digestive troubles, like any other health problem, even minimal, were enough to impact the body’s ability to acclimatize.
Elisabeth evokes very well the big fatique that Tomek presented when arriving under the summit with the rise … “he had a lot of trouble advanced”.
This is due to dyspnea (abnormal shortness of breath felt-one of the first signs of HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema).)
On the beginning of the descent, a cough associated with dyspnea, a sign of Alveolo-bronchial irritation due to the presence of fluid in the pulmonary alveoli (exudate that comes from the vessels) .
At this stage, the evolution is systematically fatal in the absence of very important descent, the mechanisms of acclimation being defeated.
Tomek blindness may be due to several things (major snow ophthalmia or hemorrhage or retinal ischemia problem seen in this context).
The state of Tomek has therefore worsened despite the descent around 7300 meters.
It can be imagined that Tomek had an acclimation threshold (threshold altitude beyond which his body is unable to acclimate physiologically) which was between the maximum altitude reached by Tomek in the past and the top of the Nanga Parbat (see threshold inf due to the inflammatory state punctual due to his “gastro”).
Elisabeth describes very well “traces of blood in the beard of Tomek …. it is the ultimate sign of HAPE … a” foamy pink exudate “which corresponds to the bronchial secretions with a little blood from the lesions alvéolo TOMEK’s HAPE was in its final stage, its oxygen saturation was to be particularly impaired and its ability to progress due to lack of fuel (= oxygen) at its lowest (hence its abandonment to climb back up to reach camp 2 or 3)
Tomek does not seem to have had high altitude cerebral edema because no neurological signs are present from what Elisabeth tells me. He remained coherent, non-delusional and conscious until very late. Tomek’s Disorders of Consciousness in the crevice probably due to deep hypoxia).
Tomek most likely died in the hours that followed (3,4,5 hours) falling asleep without suffering at all.
A little personal opinion about Elizabeth’s hallucinations because she will hear anything and everything.
These are not due to cerebral edema in my opinion because were resolutive … she recovered her shoe and had the lucidity to go down. Brain edema, such as pulmonary edema, would have increased without any improvement and evolved into coma then certain death without rapid and complete descent.
Dr. Frédéric CHAMPLY
doctor of the medical unit of high mountain of the Hospitals of the Country of Mont Blanc
Head of the Emergency Department / Mountain Medicine
Head of CESIM SEMO_
Hospitals of Mont Blanc
380 Hospital Street
“SOS frostbite” is an open line H24 / 7J after which a mountain doctor of our team responds and gives advice on frostbite, grade (stage) frostbite and advises … advice is free – +33 4 50 47 30 97