Update: the cause of death is being reported as “exhaustion and lack of additional oxygen.” His body is at Camp 3 on April 12 and will be recovered according to his organizer Seven Summits Treks.
Tragic death after summiting occurred on the 8000er, Dhaulagiri. Highly experienced Greek climber Antonis Sykaris is reported to have died around 7,400m after summiting the 8,167 meters (26,795 ft) peak at 12:40 local time on Monday, April 11, 2022. Sykaris was 59-years-old. He was climbing with Dawa Sherpa using the logistics of Seven Summits Treks. Just this past weekend 22 people summited as I previously reported. Sykaris was on a mission to summit all 14 of the 8000ers.
His home team had posted a transcript of a phone call from the summit on Facebook on his behalf:
Today, 11 April 2022 at 12:50-Nepal time I am at the top of Dhaulagiri 8,167 meters. I want to dedicate this top: To Nicos Papandreou and his family. To Bambi Tsupras and his family. And to Hermes – Theophanis Theocharopoulos. I still want to dedicate this summit to all the Greeks, to all the climbers and to my little Irida, my granddaughter. My Irida is on top!!! The “pa” is on top!!! Thank you to all my friends and social friends who have supported me and helped me reach the top! Thanks to them I made it!!! I love you all!!!
And the day before, the weather and conditions were good:
Dhaulagiri Expedition – Final push -Antonis Sykaris, having consulted the meteorologist and friend of Costas Gabriel, who confirmed to him that the most favorable weather for the summit day will be on April 11, decides together with Dawa’s rope-county to start on their final attempt. On 9/4 they left basecamp behind and after 12 hours of march they arrived at camp 2 – 6.350m, where they stayed the night and rested. Today, 10/4 early morning starting at camp 2 and after about 11 hours of march they arrived and are still at camp 3 – 7.329m. Their target is a late night start for the final push to the top of Dhaulagiri 8.167m with about 8 hours of course to the top and 10 hours to go for their return to camp 3. It is worth noting that at this moment and while ongoing Antonis’s attempt with Dawa the only human presence in the entire Dhaulagiri is the Mingma team that has already returned to basecamp.
He was born in May 1962, and married with one daughter and granddaughter. He had 32 years of mountaineering experience with 66 mountaineering expeditions around the world and 615 mountaineering and climbing routes in Greece and abroad according to his website. His climbing CV was impressive:
- Pumori 7.161m Nepal 1996
- Lenin 7.134m Kyrgyzstan 1999
- Huascaran 6.768m Peru 2000
- Noigin Kangsank 7.206m Tibet 2002
- Caucasus 5.642m Winter expedition Russia 2018
- Caucasus 5.642m Winter expedition Russia 2020
- Caucasus 5.642m Winter expedition Russia 2022
He had 66 mountaineering expeditions worldwide with 615 mountaineering and climbing routes in Greece and abroad. In the Alps his record was impressive:
- 63 peaks over 4.000m
- 50 peaks over 3000m
- 29 peaks over 2000m
He was the most successful Greek climber being the first and only Greek who had summited five 8000ers. The Himalayan Database shows he had 11 expeditions in Nepal and this was his fourth attempt on Dhaulagiri with others in 1998, 2019, and 2021.
- Everest 8.848m Nepal 2017
- Kangchenjunka 8.586m Nepal 2018
- Manaslu 8.163m Nepal 2018
- Annapurna 8.091m Nepal 2021
- Lhotse 8.516m Nepal 2019
Sykaris had a life-changing experience on K2 when he saw his teammate Bulgarian climber Atanas Skatov fall to his death on K2 in February 2021. He suffered frostbite while descending K2 during the winter attempt.
My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and teammates.
Carlos Soria at 83, and Sito Carcavilla remain on Dhaul for their attempt.
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Very tragic news about Antonis. Such a experienced climber. How could this happen? hopefully things get more clear soon. also the trek to camp 3 in 11 hours isnt it way too long? were the conditions on the mountain bad? which not seem a few days before or is it a lack of aclimatisation?
Just tragic. A wonderful, a very accomplished climber. Condolences not only to his family, but all of Greece; the climbers who climbed with him; and the Sherpas who I’m sure were his family on all Himalayan climbs. Another clumbing star now looks down on us.
Very sad to hear about Antonis Sykaris. He was a great Greek climber. I am half Greek and his Family and Greek climbing friends will feel the pain and sorrow greatly.