Tomaz Humar Injured in Nepal, Rescue in Progress

Posted on: November 12, 2009


Langtang Lirung (7227m), Langtang Himal, Nepal. Rescue teams are searching for Slovenian solo climber Tomaz Humar, who apparently fell and is injured at ca. 6300m on the peak. [Photo] Lindsay Griffin

Tomaz Humar has been stranded since Monday on Langtang Lirung (7227m) in the Langtang Himal of Nepal, and rescue efforts to reach the injured Slovenian mountaineer are in progress.

On Monday, Humar used a satellite phone to notify a friend in Slovenia that he was injured. A Sherpa rescue team subsequently mobilized, fixing ropes today up to ca. 6300m, where Humar is thought to be. But the climber has not been found.

Tomorrow the rescue team will continue searching for Humar with the support of a spotting helicopter.

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Rescuers and coordinators have heard nothing more from Humar and have been unable to reach him via satellite phone.

Local news sources speculate that Humar has a broken leg and broken ribs.

Rescue coordinator and fellow Slovenian climber Viki Groselj has called the situation very serious. He added that Humar's exact location and health is unknown.

The Swiss rescue team Air Zermatt is en route to Kathmandu in hopes of supporting the rescue.

"Our biggest challenge will be to arrange the permit for our pilot to fly an Nepalese helicopter," said Gerold Biner, Air Zermatt's chief pilot.

Humar is one of the most recognized high-altitude solo climbers. He was rescued from Dhaulagiri in 1999 and Nanga Parbat in 2005.

Alpinist will post more rescue information in NewsWire as it becomes available.

Sources: Menno Boermans, mounteverest.net, 24ur.com, b92.net



Comments
AlpineEssence

I agree, Damo. I apologize for broaching the subject at a painful time, and realize that I have crossed acceptable social norms. To any who care for Humar, my deepest condolences. My parents would not want to hear such worrisome thoughts at such a time, were this to occur to me. It does not make me feel any better, having put myself into situations I later regretted in the past. I do think that the discussion is important for the sport and alpinists everywhere, but agree with you Damo in that this is not the venue. My deepest apologies for comments made. A person that lived as passionately as Humar deserves to be recognized for the way that he lived, not how he passed.

2009-11-14 14:57:29
Damo

Essence,

1. How do you know he was "in over his head" ? Maybe he did the climb with ease and was descending smoothly when an errant rock knocked him over? This has happened to very safe and conservative climbers, so why not previously crazy ones like Humar? If you know the exact circumstances of his death at such an early stage then share them. Otherwise don't pontificate on something you don't know about. I've stood under the south face of Langtang Lirung, I know how dangerous it is. Given he survived the south face of Dhaulagiri I don't see Langtang Lirung as being over his head.

2. In every case of a climber's death, close friends and family scour the net reading about their lost loved one. They come across comments like yours and it's like twisting a knife in their stomach. It does not matter if you are "right", nor does it matter on what grounds your opinions are based. You are hurting people for no good reason, other than running off your mouth to make yourself feel better. Jumping in at the time of his death and making such comments is incredibly hurtful to his family and friends. And for what? So you can feel superior in front of a cyberaudience of strangers? Pathetic. There is a time for such debate, no matter how harshly it may fall on Humar, but that time is not now, not in public. We can discuss it and learn about it in a month from now, when more is known, or in six months when it may hurt his loved ones less. You come out of this looking much worse than Humar ever will.

2009-11-14 10:59:48
AlpineEssence

Happily, Ian, I was not necessarily concerned with others agreeing with my opinion, and knew that it would not be a popular one. I did regret making that comment after the fact, out of respect for Tomaz. When I got on the net and saw the title of the post, all I could think was "again?" I just happen to feel that self-sufficiency is an important part of being an alpinist, being used to climbing in more remote areas. In that, I feel that Tomaz was repeatedly ignoring one of the central tenets of the sport. Many climbers would reevaluate their strategy when it repeatedly failed, placing others lives at risk. I don't mean to say anything negative about Tomaz's accomplishments or attempt to push my personal ideals on others, rather I hope that I and other climbers can take this as a learning moment. If we are unable or unwilling to consider the import of our actions as alpinists, to include how we affect others, our efforts in the mountains may start to lack meaning. Pushing one's limits in the alpine is an important part of the game, but too many of my friends and acquaintances have died for me to refrain from making a comment that might be important for one's understanding of one's own actions in the mountains.

2009-11-14 04:07:52
Ian Parnell

Mr or Mrs Essence he can't hear you he's dead. No one ever died deep water soloing did they? (RIP Damian). Should Messner have quit climbing after Nanga Parbat? Should Desmaison after the Jorasses? Bonatti after the Freney? The only thing I agree with in your post is that Tomaz Humar wasn't a lemming.

2009-11-13 18:57:36
AlpineEssence

Tomaz, it might be time to quit alpine climbing, especially solo. This is at least the third time you have put many others' lives at risk because you stepped in over your head on alpine objectives, the most notable so far being your Nanga Parbat rescue. Go sport climbing or deep water soloing. You are not a lemming.

2009-11-12 11:21:35
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