Zdeněk Hrubý (1956 – 2013) loved the high mountains

Membership, Mountaineering

Editor’s Note: Last month, we received sad news of the death of Zdeněk Hrubý (1956 – 2013), president of the Czech Mountaineering Federation. Hrubý fell to his death in August 2013 while attempting a new route via the southwest face of Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak) with his companion Marek Holeček. Just last October, he joined the UIAA during its General Assembly in Amsterdam. The UIAA offers its deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Zdeněk Hrubý (1956 – 2013) loved the high mountains (Photo: Czech Mountaineering Federation)

Božena Valentová, General Secretary of the Czech Mountaineering Federation described the father of two as one of the most successful mountaineers in the Czech Republic in the past few decades.

Valentová said Hruby’s specialty were the high mountains, especially eight-thousand peaks in Himalaya and Karakoram. He was also a keen rock climber and especially liked domestic sandstone rocks.

Hrubý  climed eight 8,000 metre peaks between 1994  and 2012, his most recent one being Nanga Parbat via the Kinshofer route last year.

He also participated in other expeditions that attempted to scale Mt. Everest, Makalu, K2 and Kanchenjunga where he always managed to overcome the 8,000 metre point.

Among his successful 8,000 metre peak ascents were Cho Oyu in 1994, Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak)  and Gasherbrum II (Hidden Peak) in 1997, Lhotse in 1999, Shisha Pangma in 2004, Broad Peak in 2007, Dhaulagiri in 2008 and Nanga Parbat in 2012.

Valentová said Hrubý’s last outstanding achievement was a new route via north-west pillar on Talung (7.349 m) in the Himalaya in May 2013. He made this ascent with his friend and frequent climbing companion of recent years – Marek Holeček.

This route was awarded the prize of the Czech Mountaineering Federation – Ascent of the Year, said Valentová.

New routes on Talung and on Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak) were planned by Hrubý and Marek this year. The two had also planned to climb Mount Foster in Antarctica.

Valentová  said Hrubý always thought his most successful climb was this 2008 ascent of Dhaulagiri with Radek Jaroš, because, they were able to save the lives of two Polish and Spanish mountaineer. For this act they were awarded Czech Club Fair Play prize and European Fair Play Movement prize.


Zdeněk Hrubý (1956 – 2013) received Czech Club Fair Play prize and European Fair Play Movement prize (Photo: Czech Mountaineering Federation)

Besides his passion for mountaineering,  Hrubý had a successful professional career in the government, where, after graduating as an engineer and economist, he worked as a senior manager in issues relating to economics and finance. He also a teacher in the Faculty of Social Science of Charles University in Prague.

Since 2009, he was twice elected the president of the Czech Mountaineering Federation and more recently, since 2012, sat on the executive committee of one of the biggest sport organisation in the Czech Republic.