|Anna Maria Baranska|
Icefalls, changing weather conditions, steep ice walls and rock climbing - Anna Maria Baranska from Poland overcame them all and scaled Gasherbrum II, the 13th highest peak in the world.
The nasty gash on her shin and her snow boot constantly cutting into it made climbing the
8,035 – M high peak even harder.
Besides, the news of climbers dying, including the three Iranians on Broad Peak, a Pole on Gasherbrum I and three Spanish on GI added to the psychological pressure.
“But those 15 minutes that I spent on top of the world were worth all the risks in life,” said Baranska who was at the Alpine Club of Pakistan to collect her certificate to prove her conquest of Gasherbrum II on Wednesday.
After the conquest of her first 8,000 plus peak, the 8,201 metres Cho Oyu Mountain on Tibet-Nepal, Baranska was the first Polish woman to summit Mount Everest from the north-side in 2005.
“This is my third eight-thousander,” she said. Baranska was the only Polish woman to summit GII in the climbing season 2013.
She described the peak as beautiful and technically difficult with brief windows in weather to push higher.
In the three weeks she spent on the Gasherbrum II, Baranska had to climb fast. It took her over seven hours to maneuver over icefall to reach Camp I. After six hours of rest it took her another six hours to reach Camp II where she rested for eight hours. And then Camp III was another six hours of climb where she stayed for six hours before the final push at midnight.
Her Australian team member turned back but she was too close to give up now. Baranska explained how she climbed the whole night to reach the summit and watch the sunrise on July 21. Although she wanted to stay on longer but strong winds forced her to retreat to the safety of the base camp.
“Climbing at night is always safe because we have enough light to descend the next day. Descent is always harder. You are exhausted and extremely tired,” said Baranska who took 12 hours to climb and then return to Camp III.
She took dozens of pictures from the top. “It was heavenly everywhere I looked. The K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum I were all around me, one more beautiful than the other.”
Born on 8th September 1976, Polish mountaineer,The first Polish woman on the North Face of Mount Everest, climbed on 21st May 2009.
Jamal Shahid Dawn