Czech female climber feared missing on the Broad Peak marking second fatal accident on the mountain in a week
It is about time that the 12th highest mountain in the world, Broad Peak would start making headlines as another climber has now gone missing on the 8,047m peak.
Reported on Friday by the Alpine Club of Pakistan, a Czech climber has now been missing since Friday, August 3rd and is feared dead after slipping on a dangerous ledge.
The climber, reportedly a lady, Ms. Zuzana Hofmnova, slipped while stepping down from the high camp. She is one of the first female climbers from Czech Republic to summit Broad Peak but lost her life during the decent.
This is the second incident in a week’s time that a mountaineer has lost his life on the Broad Peak, often considered as an otherwise easier 8000er in the Karakorum. Muhammad Baqir, one of the local
mountaineer who was scaling the peak with an English Expedition, lost his life during the descent.
Baqir, 35, was a few hundred meters from the Base Camp III at 26, 000 feet when he slipped and fell while crossing a water channel.
Baqir was one of the well known climbers in the region and had already scaled five prominent peaks in the Karakorum including K2, Nanga Parbat, and Broad Peak.
In 2003, Mohammad Baqir’s brother, Ghulam Raza, was also killed while attempting to climb Lady Finger in Hunza Valley.
This is the second Czech tragedy on the Broad Peak after the loss of Vlado Plulik in the year 2009. His whereabouts were never traced after his disappearance during the descent.
Unstoppable Poles summit the notorious K-2 alongside some 28 climbers, marking the most crowded ascent of K-2 in a single day
The formidable K-2 has finally succumbed to the relentless and ceaseless efforts of one of the strong climbing expedition, and some 28 climbers from assorted group of expeditions were able to summit the second highest mountain in the world in the early hours of July 31.
This marks the first successful ascent on K-2 this year after the sad demise of Vitali Gorelik from Russia who was part of the Russian Winter K-2 Expedition. This also marks the most crowded ascent in a single day on the otherwise notorious K-2 which is known for its fury and deathly pitfalls for the climbers.
Leading from the front, was none other than Artur Hajzer of Poland who has probably found a penchant for the dreaded Karakorum. He was part of the four-member expedition who summited the Gasherbrum-1 (Hidden Peak) in March this year for the first winter ascent of the 8,047 m peak.
Following in his footsteps right behind, was the flamboyant Adam Bielecki who was also part of the G-1 Winter Expedition, forging further prestige to the already blistering cap of Polish Mountaineering. They were closely followed by Iranian Azim Ghaychesaz at 10.30 am and Austrian Christian Stangl and Spanish Oscar Cadiach
at 5 pm.
The sturdy Polish group has bagged in some high value peaks in the recent years including Makalu the fifth Highest Mountain in the World in Nepal standing at 8,481m. They flew down to Pakistan in December 2011 and started off their attempt to scale the G-1 for the first time in winter. They were challenged by Swiss Gerfried Goschl and his team on the south who never returned to their Base Camp. Artur, Adam, Agna, Janusz
and Shaheen successfully scaled the peak from the North. They will be returning to bag the Broad Peak for the first winter ascent later this year.
Some 30 climbers have managed to successfully scale the second highest mountain in the world this year and six of them have done it without supplementary oxygen.
Many of the climbers have noted unusual high amount of snow in the mighty Karakorum this year and several expeditions have either returned empty handed or have suffered consecutive failures until now.
Scores of wild Peacock, which roam the desert of Tharparkar in The Nagarparkar district, are feared dead after the outbreak of one of the deadly bird diseases, The Newcastle Disease, locally known as the Ranikhet.
News of the outbreak reached the Sindh Wildlife department when the local natives came over with the dead birds and apprised the authorities of the weird circumstances.
“Wild peacocks have become susceptible to bacterial and fungal attack, which further suppressed the immunity of the birds that paved the room for viral attack,” said a Wildlife Ministry official.
Scores of birds have reported to have been dead although the government officials deny the severity of the outbreak as portrayed by the media. One of the major reason cited for the swiftness of the outbreak is the lack of immunity among the birds. Delayed Monsoon and lack of vegetation has severly afected the strenght of the birds thereby reducing their immunity towards diseases.
“We are vaccinating wild peacocks protectively for suspected viral disease, as in 2003 when a few peacocks died from the same symptoms that later proved to be Ranikhet,” said Lajpat Sharma, an official in the provincial wildlife ministry.
Newcastle disease is a worldwide problem among birds and sporadic outbreaks can occur frequently. Thar Desert is home of at least a strong 30,000 wild Peacocks adding to the biodiversity and the beauty of the region.
Sindh Wildlife Minister Dr Daya Ram Essarani has strongly denied the death of 100 birds as reported by the local media earlier.
“The confirmed figure is 11 deaths while 14 birds are suffering from Rani Khet, a viral disease that occurs in chickens,” the minister said.
The Minister however, also admitted that there were no facilities for remedial measures within the Wildlife department and therefore help was sought from the Animal Husbandry department.
He added, “The wildlife department has no doctor of its own. Therefore, we sought the help of vets of the animal husbandry department. The animal husbandry department also provided medicines which are sufficient for treating 30,000 peacocks,”
Tharparkar, also considered as the only fertile desert in the world, is also home of some of the rare species of birds and animals which are fast vanishing in other parts of India, are found in the desert in large numbers such as the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), the Indian Gazelle (Gazella bennettii) and the Indian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus khur) in the Rann of Kutch.
The Thar desert is also home of no fewer than 141 migratory and resident birds which includes eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards, kestrel and vultures. Short-toed Eagles (Circaetus gallicus), Tawny Eagles (Aquila rapax), Spotted Eagles (Aquila clanga), Laggar Falcons (Falco jugger) and kestrels.
Indian Peafowl (Peacock) is one of the most magnificent and prominent birds in the desert and can be often spotted sitting on trees and around villages.