Yesterday I posted an article reporting the successful summit of K2 by the Norit Team with reports of others also topping out. At the time, the report was a bit sketchy on details, but the rumor was that there had been a casualty on the mountain, and there was little word of anything else that was happening.
Today, we have learned that not only did Serbian climber Dren Mandic perish on the mountain, but that there are a variety of climbers stranded between the summit and the Bottleneck on K2 after a large serac broke free and plunged down the mountain, taking the fixed ropes with it. Without those ropes, it will be practically impossible for the mountaineers to down climb that portion of the mountain.
At this time, it’s difficult to know exactly what’s happening on the mountain. Communications have been spotty at best, with some reports that there may be as many as 7 additional deaths, although I must stress that at this time, that is unconfirmed. As of now, the climbers stranded high on K2 are spending their third night in the Death Zone, while they wait for Sherpas and other climbers to attempt to rebuild the fixed lines.
For now, all we can do is wait, fingers crossed, and hope that the climbers get down in one piece. Check in with K2Climb.net for the latest updates in this ongoing crisis. My thoughts are with those climbers, their friends, and family tonight.
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