Mount Everest, Ascent and Tragedy. Our expedition was organized by the Slovak Geographical Society of the Slovak Academy of Sciences with two parallel programs: scientific research and mountaineering. The research concerned the problems of nature in the National Park of Sagarmatha from ecological aspects. The Slovak Geographical Society was the first in the world to undertake a project inspired by the UIAA Kathmandu Declaration of 1982. The climbing program was to ascend Everest by the southern buttress, the Polish route. (An earlier plan to repeat the Soviet route of 1982 was declined because of many objective reasons.) Snow conditions allowed us to ascend from Camps III to V closer to the buttress itself. Base Camp was reached on September 6. We placed Camps I, II, III, IV and V at 6050, 6400, 7300, 8050 and 8300 meters on September 9, 12, 22, October 2 and 14 respectively. We used no supplementary oxygen. On October 15 the summit was reached by Zoltán Demján, Jozef Psotka and Sherpa Ang Rita. They descended the classic South Col route. Demján and Ang Rita reached Camp II that night but Psotka lagged behind and apparently fell on the Lhotse Face. His body was found at the foot of the face. We had 25 members, including the scientists. Those who worked in the Base Camp area and higher were climbing leader, Michal Orolí, Ivan Fiala, Psotka, Demján, J. Porvazník, L. Záhoranskÿ, J. Just, M. Šajnoha, R. Mock, V. Launer, V. Petrik, M. Neuman, Z. Brabec, J. Oršula, V. Dudeš, Dr. M. Šimonic, Dr. M. Skladaný, M. Matis, M. Koncok and me as leader.
František Kele, Slovak Geographical Society