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Two Polish climbers missing in Kazakhstan

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Two Polish climbers missing in Kazakhstan

Postby kamil » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:34 pm

I am posting the info from the Polish climbing website drytooling.com and several Polish newspapers about two Polish climbers missing in Kazakhstan, on their way to Khan Tengri. One of them, Piotr Zwolinski, is actually my cousin.

Piotr Zwolinski (aged 45) and Michal Kacperski (30) landed in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 2 August, aiming at climbing Khan Tengri. They registered with the police and arrived at the tourist agency Tourasia where they left a part of their luggage to be flown by helicopter to the Karkara base. It was supposed to wait there until the Poles arrive at the Northern Inylchek base and be transported there (on 5 August, according to the climbers’ instructions). They rented a 4x4 car in Almaty and taking some gear (food, crampons, ropes, harnesses, four camping gas canisters) with them they set off for Zharkulak. On the way Piotr Zwolinski contacted his family by phone (from an unknown number). According to the Polish Consul in Kazakhstan, Leszek Wanat, they were seen for the last time at Zharkulak, where they were delivered by a tourist agency, another than the one that was transporting their luggage.

The climbers were supposed to walk up the Bayankol valley via Pass 11 to the Northern Inylchek base camp, the starting point for the Khan Tengri climb, and return on 29 August.

In the first half of August attempts were made to contact Michal and Piotr via tourist agencies (Tourasia and Kantengri, among others) but they were reluctant to make a phone call to the glacier, although the luggage with their names and the expected collection date had already been awaiting the climbers at Karkara for a week.
On 17 August the Inylchek base camp (or the Karkara camp, as this is not certain) notified Tourasia (the agency which rented a 4x4 to the Poles) about their absence. The next day the agency informed Michal’s wife and the Polish Consulate in Almaty. A land and air search was conducted by the Kantengri agency.

On 19 August the rescuers checked the area above the base camp and crevasses on the glacier.
On 21 August the first helicopter flight was conducted, it was called off after 43 minutes due to weather deterioration.
On 22 August another flight was carried out above places where the Poles could possibly lose their way.
In the meantime the land rescuers checked the area along the river to exclude the possibility of the climbers’ drowning and walked their probable route. No traces of their campsites, gear or litter were found. Other climbers met on the trail knew nothing about them either.
According to the rescuers, at the time of the Poles’ planned expedition the weather was good, there were no avalanches and little snow.
The Kazakh Immigration Police have also been searching the area of Zharkulak and Bayankol since 23 August.

Anyone who has seen Piotr Zwolinski and Michal Kacperski or might have any information about their whereabouts, is asked to contact the blog Lost in Kazakhstan or contact the Consulate in Almaty at (007727) 258 16 17 or write kacperscy2010@gmail.com
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Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:10 pm

Thanks for the info Kamil. It's sad anyway :(
Last edited by Diego Sahagún on Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby yatsek » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:10 pm

Kamil,
That's distressing news - four weeks no sign :( I am very sorry.
Jacek
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Postby nickua » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:21 am

What I heard was.
There are 3 people got under ice fall in August 17 in bottleneck in Khan Tengri at 6:30.
2 polish and 1 Italian.
One polish climber, name Piotr, was rescued by Ecuador climbers another polish climber Agnes was recovered 40 min later. Italian climber was never found, his name was Luca Tessarin.

This is from the person who was there at that time
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Postby kamil » Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:35 pm

Was it at the Kazakh or Kirgiz side? Do you know any more details?
That must've been a different party and a different guy named Piotr... I reckon Kazakh rescuers would know if those Piotr and Michal had been found.
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Postby codelancer » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:34 pm

kamil wrote:Was it at the Kazakh or Kirgiz side? Do you know any more details?
That must've been a different party and a different guy named Piotr... I reckon Kazakh rescuers would know if those Piotr and Michal had been found.


The bottlneck Khan Tengri - this is south side. Piotr ok, Agnes (woman) died. Luca was never found.

From the slope of Khan fell serac and triggered an avalanche of ice. The Poles were in the "bottleneck", Luke below. Poles were hit the edge of avalanche. Most part of ice fell to Luka. No chance of surviving. Body of Agnes was recovered from under blocks of ice. Peter was lucky.

First on the scene were Muscovites Misha and Ilia. They sent a alert at 7.00. Team from Ecuador was also nearby. They started the search. At 8.15. military helicopter flew with a group of rescuers. Around 9.00 joined on to the advanced group. At about 12 o'clock all back to Camp 1. and pulled the body of Agnes.
Last edited by codelancer on Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ski Mountaineer » Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:51 pm

Bottleneck is Kyrgyz side, just beneath Camp 3, between about 4900 and 5100m.
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Postby kamil » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:37 am

Thanks a lot guys. Yeah, as I thought that must've been another party.
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Re: Two Polish climbers missing in Kazakhstan

Postby dmiki » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:38 pm

Any update, Kamil? This is very sad news. Hope for the best.
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Re: Two Polish climbers missing in Kazakhstan

Postby kamil » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:08 pm

No news unfortunately...
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Re: Two Polish climbers missing in Kazakhstan

Postby rpc » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:56 pm

I'm sorry to hear this Kamil! Hoping for the best. Take care.
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Re: Two Polish climbers missing in Kazakhstan

Postby kamil » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:48 pm

In October last year Radek (Piotr's brother) went to Kazakhstan where he met Denis Urubko, who also joined the search for the two missing climbers. Some new facts have been established. Below are Denis Urubko's remarks (my translation into English).

The Poles planned to reach the Northern Inylchek glacier via the Pass 11. They most probably went missing in the high mountain (alpine) zone.

According to the search group leader, at the end of August another two alpinists went from the Northern Inylchek glacier to Pass 11, from where they continued their ascent of Peak 11 along the ridge in the westerly direction. A helicopter flight was also conducted above the slopes of the peak and the pass at the side of the Bayankol valley. At the beginning of October a group of three alpinists searched the slopes of the Sary-Dhas range, also from the Bayankol side. No trace of the missing climbers’ presence has been found. It also turned out that the route at the map, given to the Poles by the Kazakh agency that hosted them, was marked erroneously. It is therefore highly probable that they turned their steps to the edges of the Bayankol gorge where they lost their way.

(here goes a schematic map with descriptions)

Unfortunately the agency did not insist strongly enough that the Poles should hire a guide.
A wrong route was shown to them.
The agency staff only realised 10 days later that the guys have not reached their target point.
It seems to me they acted quite irresponsibly in the situation when their clients have gone missing.

Taking into account the shortcomings of the hosting agency, I therefore cordially ask everyone – please help the Kazakh alpinists in the search for the missing Poles. Traces of their presence may be found both at the Bayankol side and in the area of Northern Inylchek. Their families also still hope that they could have gone to the Siemionov glacier towards the west, into the river Sary-Dhas valley, or maybe changed their direction due to a fatal mistake and enter the Chinese territory.

If you are staying in this area, please pay special attention to any traces of human presence. If you find anything suspicious, use the contact details given above or contact us in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh authorities or media.

I also personally ask you not to take risks. Do not enter areas unknown to you without having thoroughly studied your route and becoming familiar with local conditions. You would rather pay a couple hundred dollars to a guide who knows the route, rather than risk your life and the happiness of your near and dear ones. This concerns not only Kazakhstan but any other mountainous area as well.

Denis Urubko


More details can be found at the blog Lost in Kazakhstan - contact details, the original text in Russian, the Polish translation as well as a schematic map.

Kamil
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Re: Two Polish climbers missing in Kazakhstan

Postby kamil » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:02 am

Now there is an update at ExplorersWeb.
http://www.explorersweb.com/everest_k2/ ... p?id=20034
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