Sunday, August 3, 2008
At least seven mountaineers have died while climbing K2, the second highest mountain in the world. The accident was reportedly caused by a rock slide or an avalanche that severed all the ropes used for ascent and descent.
Initial reports state that seventeen climbers ascended the mountain in two groups, with both reaching the summit successfully. The reports also state that after the avalanche, some climbers attempted to return without ropes.
The summit was covered in clouds late yesterday afternoon and the conditions in the mountain continued to deteriorate. Some of the latest reports indicate that eight climbers were stuck at the summit, unable to descend. Four of these climbers are Norwegian nationals. The conditions at the summit during night are extreme and offer very limited chances for survival for people unable to descend.
In an unrelated incident, a Serbian climber and his sherpa fell down during the initial descent. This incident was, however, unrelated to the other deaths caused by the avalanche.