Karakorum 2009: Go Mi-Sun Lost on Nanga Parbat!

Sad news is coming in from the Karakorum following this weekend, as Korean climber Go Mi-Sun has perished on the mountain. According to this report from ExWeb, she fell on her descent at an altitude of 6200 meters and went missing near Camp 2. Her body was found later, and has since been removed from the mountain. She was in an unroped section of the Nanga Parbat at the time.

Miss Go’s death wasn’t the only one to hit the mountain over the weekend. Wolfgang Köblinger slipped and fell near the summit, shortly after he topped out.

According to reports, there were high winds on the mountain at the time, and he was descending behind a Korean team, but when they looked back to check his progress, he was no longer there. Is last known footprints led to a very steep drop off at 8060 meters. There is no hope of finding him alive. Wolfgang was climbing with Gerfried’s Göschl’s team.

This is incredibly sad news, as I don’t think it was any secret that Go Mi-Sun had quickly become a favorite climber of mine whom I was cheering on from a far. After she knocked off three 8000m peaks in Nepal this past spring,

she had gotten herself into a position where she had an outside shot of becoming the first woman to knock of all 14 of those mountains. The plan for the summer was to top out on Nanga Parbat, using it as an acclimatization climb at the same time, then head to the Gasherbrums to knock off G1 and G2. That would have left her with just Annapurna to go.

Last week, when the reports came in about her successful summit on Nanga, the word was that she had used supplemental oxygen, which was not her typical approach to climbing. We are now told that she was not in fact on the O’s when she topped out, but it was one of her companions instead.

It was also noted that she was quite exhausted when returning from the summit, and I remarked at the time that I hoped her ambitious schedule was not catching up with her. Sadly, you can’t help but wonder if that exhaustion didn’t play into her fall on that unroped section between Camp 2 and 3.

My condolences to the friends and families of these two climbers. The mountaineering community grieves with you today.

Kraig Becker

8 thoughts on “Karakorum 2009: Go Mi-Sun Lost on Nanga Parbat!”

  1. I remember your post about this girl. This is really horrible.Since I've started following the adventure news, there are more and more deaths. First I was struck by the news about the death of Rob Gauntlett, then two great skiers Shane McConkey and Karine Ruby died,now Go Mi-Sun and right after your post, I read about the death of another great climber John Bachar. Makes you think- is it worth it ?

  2. I was routing for Go too. Very sad news about these deaths.

    "Is it worth it?", is always an important question to ask.
    It depends upon your dreams and what you're willing to risk to achieve them. Some people die working themselves to death in an office for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Others grab an ice pick and head for the summit, knowing full well that they could die at any time. Confronting death and the fear of it are part of the extreme adventure experience.

    Just finished reading Joe Simpson's 'Dark Shadows Falling' about the darker side of climbing. In it he quotes an old saying that sums up many climbers thoughts:

    “If you want something, you have to take a risk; if you really want something, you have to risk everything.”

  3. This was very sad news to hear indeed, and I was definitely pulling for Miss Go as well.

    As for the question of is it worth it, that's a tough one. Each individual would be able to answer that for themselves, but I'd guess that each of those people on your list would say that it was.

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