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Manaslu Serac Fatally Injures Oderlap

Oderlap evacuation, October 1. [Photo] Guillaume Hintzy /

On October 1, Slovenian climber and guide Franc Oderlap was struck by a falling serac below Camp 2 on Manaslu (8156m) in the Nepalese Himalaya. Oderlap, 51, died two days later in a Kathmandu hospital.

Oderlap is known as the first Slovenian to climb the Seven Summits. On this trip, he was testing equipment with fellow Slovenian Davo Karnicar, who plans to ski K2 in 2010.

The serac that wounded Oderlap collapsed around 9:30 a.m. Karnicar, 200 meters away when the serac fell, escaped danger but found his partner among the debris, unconscious and with severe head injuries. Karnicar initiated an involved rescue that brought his partner back to base camp, where he could be rescued by helicopter. However, bad weather delayed an airlift to Kathmandu until Oct. 3. Oderlap died that morning, around 10 a.m. local time.

“For twenty-five hours, we really tried everything,” Karnicar said of the rescue. “After the first helicopter could not fly due to bad weather, there was no other option than to provide a warm room and be with him and wait until Saturday morning.”