As the reality of events on K2 from this past weekend begins to descend on the mountaineering community, the fog has begun to lift somewhat, and we’re starting to hear more of the details. This morning, Everest News as posted a list of casualties that they claim has been confirmed by the Ministry of Tourism in Pakistan. You can read that list here. Personally, I’m a bit reluctant to post the names myself, until all is known, but the list does fall into line with the sketchy reports we’ve been hearing.
It should be stressed that at this time, rescue efforts are ongoing, and ExWeb has even reported that there are some climbers still making their way down the mountain, so there is a possibility, however remote, that someone has survived the events of the past few days, and is making their way towards one of the lower camps. Just yesterday, Wilco Van Rooijen of the Norit Team was discovered alive, when the worst was feared. He, along with Cas van de Gevel have been airlifted back to Skardu where they are reportedly undergoing treatment for third degree frostbite.
As is inevitable in these situations, it seems that the online media has also begun to take a few swipes at one another. Yesterday, the ExWeb crew posted this article that pretty much accuses some of the online community of posting unconfirmed information in an attempt to be get the “scoop” and presumably build more traffic to their sites. The Adventurist weighted in with an editorial of his own on, sharing his thoughts on the situation as well.
Personally, I’ve tried to do my best to sift through what we know, and link to reports that offer updated information. Obviously in situations like these, you have to be very careful what you publish. The remote nature of the mountain makes communications very difficult, and the people that are there, conducting search and rescue operations, don’t always have the time or inclination to make a report when the situation is still so fluid. We’ll certainly be hearing a lot more about this tragic event in the days and weeks ahead. For now, it’s enough to take a moment to send a few thoughts to the family and friends of these climbers, some of whom may still be waiting for word from their loved ones.
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