A Norwegian climber defended her determination to proceed a record-breaking collection of climbs final month after encountering an injured porter who later died throughout her ascent of K2, the second-highest mountain on this planet.
The climber, Kristin Harila, turned one of many two quickest individuals — alongside along with her information, Tenjin Sherpa — to ascend all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter mountains in three months and slightly below a day, surpassing what was already thought of an distinctive document of six months and 6 days set by the Nepalese climber Nirmal Purja in 2019.
However two different climbers who had been on the mountain on that day, July 27, mentioned that Ms. Harila, her staff and different climbers ignored an injured man — Muhammad Hassan, a 27-year-old father of three from Pakistan — as a result of they wished to achieve the summit relatively than abandon their climb to try a rescue.
Mr. Hassan fell from a very harmful stretch of the climbing path on K2 often known as the bottleneck and later died.
“There was no rescue mission,” Wilhelm Steindl, an Austrian climber who supplied video footage of different climbers stepping over Mr. Hassan on the slender mountain path, mentioned in an interview with Sky Information. “Seventy mountaineers stepped over a dwelling man who wanted huge assist at this second, they usually determined to maintain on going to the summit.”
The authorities in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan area, the place a portion of the mountain is situated, recognized Mr. Hassan as a “high-altitude porter.” They mentioned they had been investigating whether or not “ample efforts had been made to rescue” Mr. Hassan, whom Ms. Harila mentioned was a part of one other staff.
The authorities mentioned they’d look at the situations of Mr. Hassan’s climbing gear and “verify who approved him to climb with gear which may have been inadequate for such high-altitude expeditions and his stage of expertise.”
Folks regularly die summiting the tallest mountains on this planet, together with Mount Everest and K2. The treks are so harmful that the our bodies of fallen climbers are typically left behind, and a few are by no means recovered.
Climate situations on K2 the day of Mr. Hassan’s dying had been so extreme that many climbers, together with Mr. Steindl, turned again.
In an interview with The Related Press, Mr. Steindl mentioned that Mr. Hassan may have been saved if Ms. Harila and others had deserted their climb.
“There’s a double commonplace right here,” Mr. Steindl mentioned. “If I, or every other Westerner, had been mendacity there, every part would have been accomplished to avoid wasting them. Everybody would have needed to flip again to convey the injured individual again all the way down to the valley.”
Ms. Harila mentioned in an announcement on her web site that she and her staff did every part they may to avoid wasting Mr. Hassan. She added that “it’s really tragic what occurred, and I really feel very strongly for the household.”
Ms. Harila mentioned she and her staff spent hours making an attempt to rescue Mr. Hassan after discovering him hanging the other way up from a rope after he had fallen off the cliff.
Ms. Harila additionally mentioned that Mr. Hassan gave the impression to be “not correctly geared up” to climb the 28,251-foot-tall mountain, noting that he had no gloves, no oxygen masks and no down go well with after they discovered him.
In Ms. Harila’s account, a bunch of Sherpas forward of them instructed her that they had been turning round, and “as we understood it that meant there was extra assist going to Hassan.”
One other member of Ms. Harila’s staff who helped to drag Mr. Hassan again on the path gave him his personal oxygen, Ms. Harila mentioned, and stayed with him till the staff member himself started to expire of oxygen.
“We determined to proceed ahead as too many individuals within the bottleneck would make it extra harmful for a rescue,” she mentioned. “Contemplating the quantity of folks that stayed behind and that had rotated, I believed Hassan can be getting all the assistance he may, and that he would be capable of get down.”
She added that her staff handed Mr. Hassan once more on the best way down. By then, he was useless however her staff was “in no form” to get well the physique, she mentioned.
“You want six individuals to hold an individual down, particularly in harmful areas,” Ms. Harila mentioned. “Nevertheless, the bottleneck is so slender which you could solely match one individual in entrance and one behind the individual being helped. On this case, it was unattainable to soundly carry Hassan down.”
Skilled mountaineers have complained lately that overcrowded mountain paths in Nepal — with too many inexperienced climbers — have contributed to avoidable deaths.
Climbing guides are additionally more and more leaving the business, pushed off by the risks of the job and a scant security web for the households of these guides who die or who’re left disabled.
In June, Gelje Sherpa and different guides rescued a Malaysian climber on Mount Everest at an elevation practically as excessive as K2’s peak, abandoning their very own climb and taking turns carrying the climber again to camp in a five-hour descent.