Climbing a mountain is a huge challenge, but I didn’t realise it could be as dangerous as this.
Shayan Anwer climbed a 7027m peak in the Karakoram Range known as Spantik in Pakistan when a huge rock came tumbling down, missing his face by an inch.
Shayan’s group, along with two German groups, reached base camp but had to remain there for days due to bad weather. It was at base camp that the shocking footage of the hurtling rocks was filmed.
Here is the terrifying video:
Describing the terrifying moment depicted in the video, Shayan told UNILAD:
While waiting at the base camp for the weather to get clear, this one day I heard loud noise that came from the way that goes to camp 1.
I saw everybody at the basecamp shouting and running for cover when I looked up I saw a rock coming straight for the campsite, because it was falling from a distance I was not able to judge the size of the rock and I started filming it with my phone camera.
I only realised when the rock actually came closer and split into two pieces, that’s when I started to run for cover but by that time it had come too close already.
It landed on our camp’s entrance, missed my face by literally a few inches and then after a bounce it took off and landed on the kitchen tent which it destroyed completely and then it almost hit this Swiss climber before going down into the Chogholungma glacier.
The other half of the falling rock went to the left and ripped a climber’s tent, eventually dragging it hundreds of feet to the glacier below.
Despite the terrifying incident, the climbers stayed at base camp that night, though Shayan said ‘nobody slept’.
He explained what happened next:
Nobody slept that night, people took turns to warn others as rocks kept falling all night, we had a whistle which we used to blow to warn everyone at the basecamp.
Every time we heard a whistle we ran for cover but the problem was during the day we could see this rock coming down on us while during the night we had no idea from which direction it was coming so it was literally a gamble, none of those rocks hit the camp site though and I am glad to say this that nobody got hurt in this whole incident.
The day after, a team of climbers and high-altitude porters went up to analyse the situation, concluding that around 4000 cubic metres of mountain was ready to fall without any notice, saying it was too risky to continue to climb or stay at base camp.
Despite this, Shayan and his team decided not to heed their warning and stayed another day at basecamp before ascending to camp one.
The 12 German climbers called off their expedition and left the same day as the video was taken.
Shayan explained how this compared with other experiences he has had climbing:
Yeah it was, I have been trekking for quiet sometime now, I started trekking in 2015 with the K2 Base Camp Trek and then in 2017 December I went for Everest Base Camp Trek and Kala Pathar on which I went up to 5700m, this was my first climbing experience though and it was my first 7000m peak.
It depends from mountain to mountain but no it’s not something that happens often but then again it’s part of the game. We continued to climb and two more incidents happened while we were climbing.
To get from camp one to camp three, Shayan said there was a very steep path that can’t be down without a 700m fixed rope, so they successfully summited the mountain after fixing ropes on the mountain.
The group stayed the night there we stayed the night and decided to descend down the next day because they were out of supplies like food and gas.
Another traumatic thing happened the next day, which Shayan recounted:
Next day we started descending and we reach the point where we had to use the same fixed rope to descend, we noticed that the fixed rope has been taken off, some climbers that went up to the summit with us decided to descend earlier than us and they took the ropes with them leaving four of us to literally die at camp three.
Despite the problem we decided to go down because as I mentioned earlier we were out of supplies, we used our ice axes and crampons to descend and while descending I slipped and went straight down for some 60 meters.
I went numb I didn’t even shout for help, luckily my foot hit my high altitude porter in his shoulder and that’s when he realised and within a split second he got me from my collar, if it wasn’t for him I was as good as dead at that point.
We tied safety rope from that point on to ourselves and kept descending, at this one point where I stepped, the ice beneath me cracked and next thing I know I was hanging in a very deep crevasse, my high altitude porter dug his crampons in ice and while acting as an anchor point he pulled me out of it, similar case happened with my sister as well.
In one single day, the group travelled straight down from camp three to basecamp where they were ‘out of energy and out of options’.
He tried to find out who took the ropes from the mountain but ‘nobody took the responsibility’.
Shayan said incidents like this are part of the climbing experience and you have to learn to deal with it.