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August 4, 2008

Death toll rises to eleven in K2 mountain avalanche

Death toll rises to eleven in K2 mountain avalanche

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Monday, August 4, 2008

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The Associated Press (AP) and CNN reported about midday UTC that the death toll in the Sunday’s accident on K2 has risen to eleven.

Two Dutch climbers have been rescued by helicopter, the AP also said. CNN reports that two of the people killed were climbing up the mountain in an attempt to assist others.

AP says that about two dozen climbers began the accent of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, Friday after the weather had cleared. Climbers are listed as from the Netherlands, South Korea, Italy, Norway, France, Nepal, Serbia, Pakistan and Ireland.

Trouble began on Sunday when several climbers decided to turn back citing rope placement problems. CNN reports the group was climbing in two teams and both were descending from near the summit when an a large chuck of ice fell sweeping three people off the mountain.

K2
Image: Adam Jacob Muller.

The ice triggered an avalanche which caused confusion within the party.

Wilco Van Rooijen, one of the two rescued Dutch climbers, spoke to AP via phone. He blames poor planning in addition to the avalanche.

“Everything was going well to Camp Four, and on summit attempt, everything went wrong,” Van Rooijen said.

He told AP that a low-cloud bank caused whiteout on the mountain, but he chose to begin his decent from the area near the summit.

“There was a Korean guy hanging upside down,” Van Rooijen told AP. “There was a second Korean guy who held him with a rope but he was also in shock and then a third guy was there also, and they were trying to survive but I had also to survive.”

One stranded climber, Marco Confortola, an Italian who spoke with his brother by phone, described the events as hellish.

“Up there it was hell. During the descent, beyond 8,000 meters (26,000 feet), due to the altitude and the exhaustion I even fell asleep in the snow and when I woke up I could not figure out where I was,” Confortola told the ANSA news agency.

A helicopter rescue for Confortola had to be delayed due to poor weather. He told his brother that he was able to walk down to the base camp.

CNN reports that this is the deadliest accident on K2 since records were kept in 1939. 66 people — not counting those in the latest incident — have died on the mountain since then.



Related news

  • “At least seven mountaineers die while climbing K2” — Wikinews, August 3, 2008

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August 10, 2005

Slovenian alpinist rescued from Himalayan peak

Slovenian alpinist rescued from Himalayan peak

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Nanga-Parbat peak

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Early Wednesday morning (5:30 am local time), the Pakistani military helicopter Lama III rescued Slovenian alpinist Tomaž Humar, who went up on a solo climb on one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas.

Humar became trapped by a bad weather and avalanches in a ice-cave on 5 August at an approximate height of 5900 meters with no food left for the last few days. After Mr. Humar was back in the base-camp, the mission medic Dr. Anda Perdan said he has some very beginning of chilblains on his toes, but she expects there will be no serious consequences. By one of the Slovenian news-sites 24ur.com – Srečen, na trdnih tleh, he decided to stay in the base-camp after the rescue mission (and not being taken to the hospital), however, by the Reuters news agency, he has been later taken to a hospital located in the mountain town of Gilgit.

This article is a continuing story of the Slovenian alpinist in rescue on Nanga Parbat.

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August 8, 2005

Slovenian alpinist in rescue on Nanga Parbat

Slovenian alpinist in rescue on Nanga Parbat

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Monday, August 8, 2005

Pakistani military agreed to help in the rescue mission of Slovenian alpinist Tomaž Humar.

Humar was on his paramount course mission on the 4700 meter high south rock wall of the 8125 meter high Nanga Parbat mountain (the utmost west of the mountain chain) in the Himalaya mountains, being trapped in the ice-hole at an approximate height of 5900 meters for five days. The rescue mission with the military helicopter is planned for Monday morning local time, August 8, 2005.

The rescue team managed to locate Humar on face on Sunday, but said they need a better helicopter for the actual rescue mission. Swiss Air Zermatt rescue pilots offered their help in the effort.

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