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Asia, Nepal, Dhaulagiri Tragedy

Dhaulagiri Tragedy. On October 6, the well-known New Zealander Gary Ball died from high-altitude sickness on Dhaulagiri. He was 40 years old. He and Robert Hall led several commercial expedition to the Himalaya and elsewhere. These two were the first New Zealanders to climb Everest twice (1990 and 1992), using supplementary oxygen. In 1990, they both climbed to the highest summits of all the seven continents in a record time of seven months. In 1992, they tried unsuccessfuly for the third time to climb K2. When 300 meters below the summit, Ball fell ill with mountain sickness and had to be helped down. Despite this ominous warning, Ball planned to ascend Dhaulagiri in the autumn of 1993. Having reached Camp III at 7350 meters, he was afflicted again by mountain sickness. Desperate efforts by Hall and others, who moved down to Camp II, were in vain and the next day, Ball expired. This points out clearly that he made no use of his serious K2 experience. Climbers, knowing that they are sensitive to the effects of high altitude should never attempt the very highest peaks again.

J├ęzef Nyka, Editor, Taternik, Poland