Czech climbers claim to have found body of lost Pole in Himalayas

A Czech expedition claims they have found the tent of the Polish climber Tomasz Mackiewicz, who fell ill and became stranded Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, forcing his climbing partner to leave him behind in order to survive.

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Pavel Burda, one of the Czech climbers who recently reached the top of Nanga Parbat told Poland’s national broadcaster that he and his team had located the tent belonging to Tomasz Mackiewicz.

When climbing the mountain, the group of climbers did not attempt to reach the tent because it was already dark. It was during the decent that they went up to the tent where, they claim, the body of Tomasz Mackiewicz lies.

“I knew the exact location and the color of Tomek’s tent, and I saw other parts of tents, and there was the one. I knew that probably Tomek, the hero of Nanga, was inside,” Pavel Burda said.

“The tent was deeply buried in ice. Only a small part of it was sticking out, about 20-30 centimeters,” he added.

Despite the conviction that his team had located the tent of the lost climber, it was by his own admission that no concrete evidence had been brought back from the mountain.

“We didn't take a pictures or do anything else. None of us wanted to go in and check if he was inside. Maybe we should have taken pictures, but nobody wanted to photograph the remains,” Burda said.

“I stood there for one or two minutes thinking what must have happened at that time,” he added.

Final attempt

In January 2018, Polish climber Tomasz Mackiewicz and his French companion Elisabeth Revol attempted to conquer the 8,126 m (26,660 ft) tall Nanga Parbat mountain in the Himalayas.

Their expedition went wrong right after reaching the mountain’s summit. Ms Revol noticed the signs of altitude sickness in her partner, and snow blindness meant she had to help him begin the descent. They made camp at 7,200 meters and waited for help, however, the altitude was too high for the rescue helicopters and Elisabeth was told to come down alone with – she claims – assurances that rescue teams would get up to Tomasz and take him.

Members of the Polish K2 expedition (Adam Bielecki, Denis Urubko, Piotr Tomala and Jarosław Botor) volunteered for the rescue operation and were able to reach Elisabeth at 4800 m. Afterwards, conditions worsened and they were forced to turn back, leaving Mackiewicz on the mountainside.

Tomasz Mackiewicz was 43 years old. It was his seventh and only successful attempt to conquer Nanga Parbat during the Winter.