Little accident without consequences that serves as a lesson for all of us
Text: Igone Mariezkurrena (Nanga Parbat BC)
This morning Alex Txikon and Ali ‘Sadpara’ set off from Base Camp for opening the track one more time, because hard wind has moved snow these days, covering the way. They had on mind to reach no further than C1 (4.800m), because meteo conditions do not give chance for more this time.
However, their plan was over when an accident that fortunatelly did not have worse consequences than little scare happened. And accurately because and when we understood everyone was ok and out of risk, the journalist that was with them took the time for taking these pictures we want to share now.
It’s not our aim to create false alarmism (there’s no reason for that), but we believe that publishing these images can be important and useful because they can help to understand one message: mountain and its risks should NEVER be underestimated; we should NEVER relax, because the accident that can kill you can happen few kilometres away from Base Camp.
Indeed, it was in the chanel that goes into the glacier, not very far away from BC, where a a little shedding occured trapping the climbers under the snow. Alex Txikon had almos his entire body covered, but fortunatelly he was able to take out the snow that was tightening his chest, and breath. Ali ‘Sadpara’ came to help his friend as soon as he also could release his legs. The journalist that was with them at that moment took these pictures just once she made sure all of them, also herself, were ok and out of risk.
This kind of accidents happen when wind and cold create hard snow slabs –called wind slabs, really compact and rigid snow layers transported and acumulated by the wind– that cover the second snow layer, the previous one, the soft one.
After the accident, they retook the way to C1, but a second snow-fall, a smaller one, occured in the same chanel, and they definitely gave up and came back to BC. Few days will be necessary so that te terrain gets stabilized.