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Asia, Nepal, Ganesh IV Tragedy

Ganesh IV Tragedy. No one knows the results of the first Polish attempt on Ganesh IV. Leader Karol Sopicki, Boguslaw Janczala and Krzysztof Przystal disappeared into the fog blanketing the mountain on November 5 and were never seen again. When the skies cleared on November 10, the team’s non-climbing doctor, Dr. Ewa Bancer, at Base Camp could see, she thinks, footprints in the snow on the south face along their route above their highest fixed camp, but by this time they should have returned to Base Camp. They never did, and when two climbing Sherpas came from Kathmandu to search for the three missing men, they found no traces of their three fixed camps. They did find a tent at 6700 meters, 400 vertical meters above their highest camp, and this was probably a bivouac site. When the Poles began their summit push on November 5, they planned to go for the summit on the 8th via a col on the east ridge and then along that ridge to the summit. They might well have needed a bivouac during the descent from the top to their last camp. The Sherpas think they died in an avalanche. They had established an Advance Base and two higher camps.

Michael J. Cheney, Himalayan Club, and Elizabeth Hawley