Avalanche accident at Shisha Pangma

25th September 2014 | Dynafit Aschheim Germany

„In the afternoon of 23.09.2014 at 16:30, Benedikt Boehm (37) and Ueli Steck (38) started from Basecamp (5.600m) the speed ascent on Shisha Pangma 8013m. The plan was to reach the summit in the morning of the 24.09.2014, together with the team mates Sebastian Haag (36), who was starting from Camp 1 (6.300m) as well as Martin Maier (40) and Andrea Zambaldi (32) who were starting from Camp 2 (6.800m).

They met Haag at C1 (6.300m) as planned at 20:00 and paired up. At the same time Maier and Zambaldi left from C2 (6.800m) towards the summit. All five climbers paired up below C3, at approx. 7.100m at 01:00 on 24.09.2014, reaching C3 (7.300m) at exactly 02:00.

Being the first climbers above C2, the team of five had to continuously break trail through rough conditions. At 06:50 the team was only one hundred vertical meters below the summit. The spirit and motivation was high, as the team was very well working together and moving at the same speed. They were sure reaching the summit at 08:00.

At 06:55 (Nepalese time) Haag, Zambaldi and Maier were caught in an avalanche at 7.900m, just 100m below the summit and were dragged for 600m vertical, over steep glaciers, into another section of the mountain.

Boehm and Steck immediately called basecamp for help and assistance, while descending to C3, the same route they were coming up, in order to traverse to the avalanche zone and search for the other three climbers. For over four hours they were trying to approach the avalanche zone from various sides, but turned around due to the fact that there was no access to the avalanche zone.

In the morning of 25.09.2014 Maier who managed to reach C3 by his own, was rescued from the Sherpa rescue team. He is conscious and on his way down to basecamp. Haag and Zambaldi disappeared with the avalanche and their bodies could not be found.”

Our deep sympathy is with the families and friends of Sebastian and Andrea.