Polish expedition sets off for unclimbed peak in Karakoram

A four-man Polish expedition to climb Gasherbrum VI in the Karakoram Mountains, which is considered unclimbed, set off on Monday from Poland.

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The group consists of Jerzy Natkański, who is the head of the expedition, Jacek Paweł Czech (the sport’s director), Jarosław Botor and Dominik Malirz. The organiser of the trip is the Foundation of Jerzy Kukuczka.

The reserve destination of the expedition is Laila Peak and – alternatively – the unclimbed Bondit Peak.

According to the opinions of specialists, Gasherbrum VI, 6,997m high (other sources say that it is 7,003m high) remains an unclimbed peak. Although Italian mountaineer Maria Luisa Ercalini claimed that in 1986 she climbed the south-eastern wall of the mountain, it is not considered as proven.

In 1993, German mountaineer Walter Hölzler reached a level 200m below the peak but had to turn back due to the avalanche threat.

Five years later, a French expedition tried to climb the same wall of Gasherbrum VI, wanting to ski down the mountain. Nicolas Bonhomme, Jean-Paul Cache and Jean-Noël Urban climbed 6,900m but then tragedy occurred. Bonhomme was caught in an avalanche and died.

In 2009, a Portuguese expedition led by Daniel Teixeira and Paulo Roxo had to withdraw after reaching a spot 60m below the peak’s ridge on the north-eastern wall.

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