Polish skier Andrzej Bargiel has abandoned his plan to be the first person to skin up and then ski down Mount Everest without using supplementary oxygen.
Bargiel, who became the first person to ski the world’s second highest peak, K2, last year, had been in the region for some time acclimatising ahead of his attempt, joined by his brother and a film crew, but decided it was unsafe to make the attempt.
The reason was a huge serac, a massive block of ice measuring 50 by 30 metres in this case, that is hanging over one of the most treacherous sections of the mountain, making an attempt too dangerous.
Bargiel’s decision to attempt the feat in the autumn was already risky. Most climbers make their ascent in spring and summer but Bargiel opted for the autumn due to the crowding on the mountain in the main climbing season and because he thought autumn snow would make it easier for skiing.
Bargiel has not yet said whether he will return to attempt the descent again next year.
Everest was first skied from the top in 2000 by Slovenian skier Davo Karnicar who was killed last month in a forestry accident near his home.