American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Everest Attempt and Rescue of Andrzej Marciniak

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

Everest Attempt and Rescue of Andrzej Marciniak. We were Rob Hall, Apa Sherpa, Pincho Norbu Sherpa and I. We established Base Camp on March 17 and then spent 17 days along with McConnell’s team opening the Khumbu Icefall before the arrival of the other expeditions. Camps I and II were set up on April 4 and 8. From Camp II we all returned to Base Camp with a severe viral infection. Upon our recovery, we returned to the south buttress but retreated when Hall and Pincho Norbu had a near miss during continuous rockfall. With Ministry permission, we made a brief foray onto the South Col route. Pincho Norbu returned to Base Camp with thrombosis and Hall retreated ill from 7500 meters. On May 17, our 62nd day on the mountain, Apa reached 8000 meters and I got to 8200 meters. On this last stretch, I accompanied Peter Hillary and Roddy McKenzie. Our return to the south buttress was abandoned because of illness and pulmonary edema. When we got back to Kathmandu, we were involved in the rescue of Pole Andrzej Marciniak; his five companions had been killed in an avalanche on the west ridge. He could not be reached from his own Base Camp on the Nepalese side because of avalanche danger. We hurried overland into Tibet, trucking to the Rongbuk Base Camp and racing up the West Rongbuk Glacier to the Lho La and a relieved Andrzej. We had reached him in 55 hours from Kathmandu. We all returned to Kathmandu the same way.

Gary Ball, New Zealand Alpine Club

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