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Climber shares pictures of last adventure

Frank Marchetti pictured at the top of Kala Pather at 5650m. It was one of the summits the group climbed to during the 2017 trip.
Frank Marchetti pictured at the top of Kala Pather at 5650m. It was one of the summits the group climbed to during the 2017 trip. John Drzewicki

AT BASE camp on the Tibetan side of Mt Everest there is a plaque with the words "the mountain is the climbers' home".

Mackay photographer John Drzewicki captured the image in April while there with Frank Marchetti who, in the weeks to come, would go on to attempt to summit Mt Everest.

But last Sunday Mr Marchetti, a very experienced climber, came within a few hundred metres of reaching his goal when he was forced to turn back after falling ill with altitude sickness at 8300m.

The 53-year-old died while descending.

 

Frank Marchetti, at about 4500m.
Frank Marchetti, at about 4500m. John Drzewicki

Mr Drzewicki and Mr Marchetti had spent more than a month together in Nepal before the summit attempt.

The photographer was part of a tour group being led by Mr Marchetti before he met up with his climbing party.

"He was so prepared for the Everest attempt," Mr Drezwicki said.

 

A milestone for climbers who reach Base Camp north.
A milestone for climbers who reach Base Camp north. John Drazewicki

"One Briton (in the climbing party) was attempting to be the youngest female to summit both North and South faces of Everest. She has a sliver of good weather (when she decided) to make the attempt.

"Frank said it was like trying to thread a string through the eye of a needle with beer goggles on."

 

Base camp with the climbers who were in Frank and John's climbing group. Mollie Hughes, the youngest UK woman to scale both sides, was amongst the group.
Base camp with the climbers who were in Frank and John's climbing group. Mollie Hughes, the youngest UK woman to scale both sides, was amongst the group. John Drzewicki

Mollie Hughes made it to the summit. After hearing of Frank's a death she paid tribute and made note of the time she spent with 'Frank the Aussie'.

 

A photo of base camp with Mt Everest in the background
A photo of base camp with Mt Everest in the background John Drezwicki

"It was with great sadness that we heard this news. From so far away there was a feeling of helplessness that we weren't there to assist, or help or do anything. RIP Frank," she said.

 

The last photograph that John Drzewicki took of Frank checking his gear.  John left Frank at Base Camp north.
The last photograph that John Drzewicki took of Frank checking his gear. John left Frank at Base Camp north. John Drzewicki

A memorial service will be held. The family is still arranging the service, the details of which will be confirmed at a later date.

Topics:  frank marchetti mackay mt everest


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