he UIAA deeply regrets the death of eleven climbers on K2.
The massive loss of lives was caused by a large wall of ice dislodging from the mountain, taking with it many of the fixed ropes which the climbers were using for the descent.
“The recent K2 tragedy had grieved us all here,” says Nazir Sabir, President of the Alpine Club of Pakistan. “Loss of precious lives of our mountaineering community is irreparable.”
A Serb and one Pakistani died on the ascent, but most of the climbers lost their lives trying to get off the mountain. A number of people disappeared when the ice block fell, while other climbers were stranded above the steep gully known as the Bottleneck at more than 8,200 metres.
The names of the dead mountaineers have now been released by the Pakistani authorities. They are Kim Hyo-Gyeong, Park Kyeong-Hyo and Hwang Dong-Jin, Korea; Jumic Bhote and Pasang Bhote, Nepal; Jehan Baig and Meherban Karim, Pakistan, Hugues d’Aubarede, France; Gerard McDonnell, Ireland; Dren Mandic, Republic of Serbia and Rolf Bae, Norway.
“Our deep condolences go to all the families and friends of the climbers who perished,” said Mike Mortimer, UIAA President.
A Pakistani army helicopter rescued two Dutch climbers from base camp at 5,200 metres on August 4, after they had been helped down from a high altitude by Pakistani guides and team members. The last survivor, an Italian, was airlifted from base camp two days later after being brought down by a rescue
team of three Pakistani high altitude porters and one American climber.
“We have admiration for the Pakistan military for such a daring helicopter rescue,” Mortimer said.
Some survivors are being treated in hospital in the northern Pakistani town of Skardu.
Sources: AP/Reuters/Nazir Sabir