It seems that immediate crisis is now over on K2, and now we’re left to mourn for those that have lost their lives, and keep their friends and families in our thoughts. The stories about what happened are only now starting to make their way out, as the survivors tell their tales.
ExWeb posted one of their updates this morning with the news that Marco Confortola has reached base camp at last. He is believed to be the last person on the mountain, and is now awaiting emergency evacuation from K2. According to CNN.com the weather in the area is preventing military pilots from Skardu from coming to pick him up however.
As I mentioned, some of the stories about what happened are now starting to emerge, and in this story from the BBC, Wilco van Rooijen says that on the initial ascent, a number of the fixed ropes were laid incorrectly, causing a delay in the climb, and wasting precious time as the teams worked to correct the error. The fastest climbers were on their way back down from the summit when the serac collapsed, taking the fixed ropes with it. Wilco said that some of the climbers left stranded higher on the mountain began to panic as a result.
Wilco made similar comments to both Reuters and the Associated Press today as well. The Adventurist offers up those two previous articles, in which Wilco gives a personal account of what it was like on the mountain, and his own struggles to survive.
Sadly, some of those involved in the incident have already begun to try to place blame. There have been quotes in the media from some of the climbers who have aided in the rescue operations accusing the climbers of being too inexperienced and not being ready for K2. ExWeb addressed this in their article as well, where the caution media outlets to not be too hasty in their judgements. Many of the climbers were on their second and third trips to the mountain, and nearly all of them had a lot of experience on big mountains. This isn’t Everest ’96 where rich “climbers” were paying to be pulled up the mountain. K2 is the mountaineers mountain, and from what I can tell, the climbers were all quite experienced. It’s just a shame that so soon after the tragic events, that we’re already trying to point fingers.
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