American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Manaslu, Ascents and Tragedies

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

Manaslu, Ascents and Tragedies. Peter Sperka, an experienced mountaineer and ski alpinist from the High Tatras, organized the Slovak expedition to Manaslu (8163m). They had bad weather and conditions. In spite of this, they pitched Camp III at 7400 meters, where mountaineers from Spain and Japan were also camped. Three Slovakian climbers (Peter Sperka, Miroslav Rybansky and Juraj Kardhordo) waited there for better conditions, which had been promised by the Sherpas. In the morning of October 8, the weather cleared up and all climbers set off for the summit. The Slovak climbers were last. Juraj Kardhordo, who three months earlier had summitted GI and GII, was slowest. During the expedition, he suffered from slight stomach problems. The Spanish climbers reached the summit first at 2 p.m., then the Japanese climbers, using oxygen. Just before 5 p.m., Peter Sperka, together with one Spaniard, reached the summit of Manaslu, half an hour after Miro Rybansky from Spisska Nova Ves. During the descent, they met Juraj Kardhordo. Sperka tried to persuade Juraj not to continue to the summit because of the late hour. But Juraj felt OK and continued. Rybansky met him 150 meters from the summit at the beginning of fixed ropes leading to the sharp ridge. He was the last to see him alive. Juraj did not return to the last camp, and the next day, the Japanese found his ski pole and his bag at the beginning of the fixed ropes. Sperka is convinced that Juraj made it to the top of Manaslu, and probably fell from the sharp ridge because of very strong winds in an area where there were no fixed ropes.

The descent from Camp III in deep snow was very dangerous. Both of our mountaineers suffered frostbite, but walked together with the Spanish and Japanese climbers nonetheless. But the tragedy of our expedition was not finished yet. Miro Rybansky died suddenly at the fixed ropes. It was probably a sudden heart attack or a collapse from total exhaustion after a long stay at high altitude. This is a cruel price for the summit of Manaslu.

Vladimir Linek, Jamesak

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