The mountaineering community continues to be stunned by the events that took place in Base Camp on Nanga Parbat this past weekend. Late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning a group of armed militants stormed the camp, grabbed several foreign climbers, tied them up and shot them in the back of the head, execution style. This left 11 dead, including a Pakistani guide and a cook. The names of the fallen are as follows.
Kashaev Magomedovich Badawi
Konyaev Dmitry Sergeyevich
Honglu Chen (held dual US/China citizenship)
Ernestas Marksaitis (ExWeb says he was the only member of his team in BC, the rest were in Camp 1)
There have been some reports that Base Camp has been shut down on the Diamir Face while the authorities in Pakistan investigate the incident. Yesterday the military was even turning back climbers traveling to the mountain. There is no word yet if the camp will be shut down for the season and as you can imagine there is still a lot of shock and grief that people there are dealing with.
It has been a strange year for mountaineering news. During the Everest season we were all shocked over the conflict that erupted between the climbers from Europe and the local Sherpas, which could have cost some people their lives. This situation isn’t at all like that one and the senseless violence is even more alarming. Pakistan has always been a safe place for trekkers and mountaineers, but that may no longer be the case. Lets just hope this is an isolated incident and not the start of some awful new trend.
I continue to offer my condolences to the friends and families of these victims.
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