The Heroes of K2

Another great story on the accident that occurred on K2 at the beginning of August. This time it’s written by mountaineer Freddie Wilkinson for the Huffington Post.

The story, entitled Heroes in Fine Print, tells a different side of the story. One that is less focused on the western climbers involved in the events that went down over the course of those two days, but instead on two Sherpas, Chhiring Dorje and Pemba Gyalje, who both summitted the mountain, without supplemental oxygen no less, on the day leading up to the tragedy.

But as Wilkinson notes in the story, that’s not what makes them exceptional. Both of these men down climbed the bottleneck that night, in darkness, after their summits. In the case of Chhiring, he was roped to another sherpa who had lost his ice axe, and was stranded high on the mountain. They descended with Chhiring assisting his friend, who was suspended off of him. As for Gyalje, he also descended the bottleneck that evening, and spent the night in C4. The next day he went in search of his teammates, Wilco van Rooijen and Gerard McDonnell, but instead found Marco Confortola, one of the survivors, who he assisted down the mountain.

Wilkinson met with both of these men in Nepal recently, after working on a fourth coming story for Rock & Ice Magazine. I’m sure that article will go into even more detail on what went down back in August, and the roles these men played in it all.

Thanks to the Outside Blog for the link to this one.

Kraig Becker

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