The climbing season on K2 is barely underway and already the mountain has claimed its first life of the season. ExWeb is reporting this morning that Italian skier Michele Fait fell to his death yesterday while skiing down from C2 to the South-South East Ridge.
Fait was on the mountain with Fredrik Ericsson with the hopes that they could make a full ski descent of the K2. Yesterday’s run was only the second partial descent of the mountain, with Fredrik leading the way. Part way down the slopes, Fait inexplicably fell and went crashing down the face.
Ericsson immediately stopped and began the climb back up to help his friend, while in BC the team went into action hoping to make a rescue attempt and not a body recovery. Sadly, by the time they arrived on the scene, it was already too late, and they could only confirm Michele’s death.
Attempts to recover the body were thwarted yesterday due to concerns over avalanches in the area. Today the team went back up and completed their efforts, burying Fait’s body and holding a solemn prayer ceremony for their friend.
This is an ominous start to the K2 season. Lets hope this isn’t a harbinger of things to come, especially after last year’s tragedy. My thoughts and condolences go out to Michele’s family today.
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