In March 2013, Maciej Berbeka, Tomasz Kowalski, Artur Małek and Adam Bielecki were the first in history to climb Broad Peak in winter. Four climbers split up, and Berbeka and Kowalski did not manage to return to the camp for the night and camping in extreme conditions.
The high-altitude porters went on a search, but these did not bring any results and the expedition was in charge Krzysztof Wielicki on March 8, 2013 announced that they were presumed dead. Kowalski’s body was found in July of the same year on a ridge at an altitude of about 7,960 m above sea level, he was buried a little lower. Berbeka’s body has not been found until today.
– Although a lot of time has passed, and from year to year you think more and more about it all in your head, I still feel this pain. It is not known where Dad’s body is: in a crevice at an altitude of approx. 7,600 m above sea level, where it is said that he probably fell? Or maybe he just fell into the abyss? But why did it fall? – Stanisław Berbeka, one of the sons of the missing climber, wonders in an interview with Przegląd Sportowy.
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There was a lot of controversy around the expedition, especially around Małek and Bielecki, who returned from the expedition. There were allegations that they did not try to help their colleagues, that they split up unnecessarily. Years later, however, Stanisław Berbeka approaches it from a slightly different angle. – They made the decisions up there. They made decisions about things that we have no clue about. However, I am 100% sure that if they had not split up, reached the summit as four and descended together, the chances that everyone would have survived would have been greater. But on the other hand – what if they all died? It is a wish, and it is so with him.
The figure of Maciej Berbeka is dedicated, among others, to the annual festival in Zakopane or the documentary “Dreamland“by Stanisław Berbeka. Now,” Netflix “features the film” Broad Peak “inspired by the events of March 2013 and 1988, when Berbeka made the first, unsuccessful attempt to climb this summit.