Three Iranian climbers have perished after making a first ascent on the South-West Face of Broad Peak (8051m). The climbers; Aidin Bozorgi, Pouya Keivan and Mojtaba Jarahi got into difficulty having successfully climbed their new route, and making three bivouacs at 8000m, on the way down to Camp 3 via the Normal Route.
The new route had been attempted before by a larger team of Iranians in 2009, who managed to climb the first part of the route, up the South-West Rib, to Camp 3 (C3) on the Normal route at 6800m, but had to turn back due to health issues. This time, a much smaller team of five Iranians headed back to try and complete the route.
The team arrived and re-gained the previous Iranian highpoint, C3 at 6800m with little difficulty, Aidin Bozorgi, Pouya Keivan and Mojtaba Jarahi then set off to the summit, traversing out to the right of C3, encountering poor weather, eventually making a bivouac at 7350m. The next day the three Iranians managed just 100m of ascent after negotiating a difficult rocky section of climbing, bivi-ing at 7450m that night. However, the next day the trio made much better progress, bivi-ing just below the summit at 8000m.
The three Iranians summited Broad Peak on July the 16th, and looked set to comfortably make it back down to Camp 3 via the Normal Route, where their team-mates, Ramin Shojaei and Afshin Saadi were waiting for them. However, the team took the wrong route to descend to C3, and were forced to make another two biviouacs above 8000m before they reached the col at 7900m. It should have been simple to have descended to C3 from here, but during talks over the radio Aidin said that they had no food or water, their tent had been torn off them and that Mojtaba Jarahi was in a poor condition.
Borzogni contacted Base Camp on the 19th, informing them they were in too poor a state to move, and on the 20th both Sherpas and Pakistani high altitude porters headed up to the col but found no trace of the Iranians. on the 22nd July the weather began to deteriorate, with the Iranians still not found, making rescue attempts futile. It is thought that the Iranians reached the Foresummit but then lost their bearings and instead of taking the main ridge as for the Normal Route, took a subsidary spur, encountering increasingly technical ground that slowed the team down and depleted their food and water supplies.
You can read a more detailed report on the BMC website here
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