Image of unrelated Pakistani porter, ExWeb files (click to enlarge).
K2: Fredrik Strang's tale of Pakistani guide's fatal fall
Posted: Aug 05, 2008 04:18 am EDT
(K2Climb.net) When tragedies occur high up on 8000ers, climbers are forced to try and save their own lives first. The strong at best try and help mates in trouble. Bodies are never lowered in such situations, in order to not put at risk more lives.
In spite of people in need; according to an article in Swedish Aftonbladet this Sunday, a Pakistani expedition guide lost his life following a decision by Swedish Fredrik Strang to try and lower the dead body of Serb climber Dren Mandic from 8000+ meters on K2's slopes.
According to the article, Fredrik Strang and his team decided to not attempt a summit push due to shifting weather, when word came in their camp at about 8000 meters that a climber had died a few hundred meters up. Parts of the group left for the Bottleneck to help transport down the deceased.
"On arrival, they meet exhausted and hypothermic people," states the story. "Fredrik takes command and the risky operation of transporting the [dead] friend begins."
Pakistan guide plunges towards his death
The story continues, "Fredrik says that a Pakistani guide in the group makes a fateful mistake and loses his footing. He falls straight into the Swedish climber's back."
"I yelled at him to do as he was told, but he wouldn't listen," Fredrik told the reporter.
"Seconds later Fredrik watches how the Pakistani guide plunges towards his death, at first 200 meters down the slope and then straight out of a void," writes the journalist.
People in trouble on Friday night, 11 dead by Sunday lunch?
Only after the porter's death, does Fredrik realize the bad idea of the entire project. "To survive, Fredrik now decides that he and the others should leave their dead friend on the mountain," the article states.
"It was really terrible and I cried and cried," Fredrik reportedly said, apparently just moments after yelling at the porter. The article rounds up with a number of more quotes. Fredrik blames inexperience and crowding for the accident (30 people "had intended" a joint summit push), says he's involved in another dramatic rescue attempt, "where he must carry even more dead people on his back," and speaks to Aftonbladet from BC already midday Sunday local time (early morning Europe), declaring a total of 11 people dead.
And finally, "We managed to rescue a Dutchman who had been lost for a long time; that felt really good," the Swedish climber reportedly told Aftonbladet.