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July 27, 2014

Czech climber conquers all 8,000 meter peaks

Radek Jaroš reaches the top of K2, world’s toughest mountain

K2, Pakistan, July 26 (ČTK) — Czech climber Radek Jaroš ascended the world’s second highest peak, K2, and became the 15th person who have conquered all world mountains more than 8,000 meters high without oxygen, Czech Radiozurnal radio station has reported.

Jaroš, 50, succeeded at a fifth try. Before the expedition, he was recovering for two years from the amputation of his frostbitten toes. He suffered the frostbite during conquering his 13th 8,000-high peak, Annapurna.

On Friday, Jaroš, Petr Mašek and Jan Trávníček built the fourth camp on the K2 at an altitude of 8,000 meters and after a short rest, Jaroš and Trávníček set out towards the peak at midnight Pakistani time.

Jaroš reached the top after 16 hours, Trávníček followed him after some time. Mašek stayed in the tent in the fourth camp, where the two successful climbers must now descend.

“The fight for the K2 was most difficult” because of weather, Radiozurnal moderator Lucie Vyborna, who is a member of the expedition, said.

Jaroš is only the fourth Czech to have reached the K2 top (8,611m). The three others were Josef Rakoncaj in the 1980s, Libor Uher with Leopold Sulovský’s expedition in 2007 and former Prague mayor Pavel Bém two years ago.

The K2, though 293 meters lower than the Mount Everest, is considered the most difficult. The biggest dangers are avalanches, the height and mainly weather.

Brief profile of Radek Jaroš:

Place and date of birth: Nové Město na Moravě, April 29, 1964.

Family: divorced, has daughter Andrea and son Ondřej.

He started climbing in the Czech Republic at the age of 18. He made the first, then unsuccessful attempt to climb the Mount Everest in 1994, when he was 30. He succeeded in 1998. He was the 12th person in history to reach the peak along the northern, Tibetan wall. Josef Rakoncaj, who conquered nine mountains over 8,000 meters, became the first person in the world to climb the K2 twice.

Jaroš’s successful ascents of mountains over 8,000 meters:

  • 1998 – Mount Everest (8,848 meters above sea level)
  • 2002 – Kanchenjungha (8,586 m; world’s third highest peak; together with Martin Minarik, they were the first Czechs to succeed)2003 – Broad Peak (8,051 m)
  • 2004 – Cho Oyu (8,188 m; together with Czech cross-country skiing world champion Martin Koukal) and Shishapangma (8,027 m)
  • 2005 – Nanga Parbat (8,125 m)
  • 2008 – Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and Makalu (8,485m)
  • 2009 – Manaslu (8,163 m)
  • 2010 – Gasherbrum II (8,034 m) and Gasherbrum I (8,080 m)
  • 2011 – Lhoce (8,516 m)
  • 2012 – Annapurna (8,091m)
  • 2014 – K2 (8,611 m)

K2 attempts: Jaroš attempted to ascend the mountain in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Weather always marred his effort. In 2007 he suffered a crushed finger in the basic camp and could not climb at all.

Injuries: In the Annapurna expedition, he suffered leg frostbites and he underwent seven operations in which doctors amputated 11 of his finger-joints on both legs in the past two years. Recently, doctors diagnosed him with a broken fifth vertebra, so-called fatigue fracture with which he has allegedly lived for 30 years.

Awards: He has received several awards at home. Together with Czech climber Zdeněk Hrubý, who tragically died in the mountains last year, he received the Czech Fair Play Club main prize for the salvation of two Polish mountaineers whose lives were threatened during the ascent of Dhaulagiri over altitude sickness in 2008. During the descent, they also helped two exhausted Spanish climbers. They also received the European Fair Play Movement diploma for their deed.

Jaroš has written several books and made several film documentaries on his expeditions some of which have received prices at film festivals.

Also See: Czech climber tops seven summits

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