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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chaos on the ‘Mountain That Invites Death’

By GRAHAM BOWLEY and ANDREA KANNAPELL
Published: August 5, 2008 in The New york Times

For two months, dozens of mountaineers had huddled at camps below the peak, acclimating to the thin air, practicing their ascent and waiting, waiting, for the moment.

The final push began in the dark hours after midnight on Aug. 1. Members of at least five expeditions — and perhaps as many as nine — began the last leg of their climb to conquer Mount Everest’s slightly shorter but far more dangerous sister, K2, its peak towering glistening and pyramidlike above them, laden with snow from recent storms.

Gerard McDonnell, 37, an Irish engineer climbing with a Dutch team, wrote on his blog when the start date was set: “Let luck and good fortune prevail!!! Fingers crossed.”

But luck did not hold. On the way up the last 2,000 feet, a Serbian climber fell to his death, and a Pakistani porter died trying to recover his body. And on the way back, a chunk of glacier splintered and came crashing down, sweeping at least four climbers on ropes to their deaths and leaving a handful of others trapped in the death zone above 26,000 feet — desperately cold, starved for oxygen and without ropes.

Over the next few hours and days, some of those still left on K2 battled their way to safety, some fell to their deaths and others were simply lost forever in the cold wastes of the mountain.

Bulletins posted on the Dutch expedition’s Web site charted the unfolding tragedy: “Gerard McDonnell: status unknown. We have not heard or seen anything from Gerard.”

On Tuesday the climber likely to be the last of the survivors, an Italian, Marco Confortola, staggered on frostbite-blackened feet to the base camp, for a time refusing help and oxygen, preferring to make his own way down.

“I understand that many died, and that only a few made it down,” he said by telephone, in a conversation reported by an Italian scientific official, as he waited for a Pakistani military rescue helicopter to pluck him from the unforgiving mountainside. “I am happy that I was one of them.”
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1 comment:

Adams Kevin said...

म एडम्स KEVIN, एक प्रतिनिधि Aiico बीमा plc, हामी भरोसा र दिन बाहिर एक ऋण मा व्यक्तिगत मतभेद आदर। हामी ऋण चासो दर को 2% प्रदान गर्नेछ। तपाईं यस व्यवसाय मा चासो हो भने ई-मेल गरेर हामीलाई सम्पर्क: (adams.credi@gmail.com) अब ठीक जारी आफ्नो ऋण कागजातहरू हस्तांतरण। तपाईं Aiico बीमा plc धेरै स्वागत छ भने तपाईं व्यापार वा स्कूल स्थापित गर्न एक ऋण आवश्यकता हो। तपाईं पनि ई-मेल गरेर हामीलाई सम्पर्क गर्न सक्नुहुन्छ: (adams.credi@gmail.com)। हामी पहिलो हप्ता सन्तुलन स्थानान्तरण अनुरोध गर्न सक्छौं।

व्यक्तिगत व्यवसायका लागि ऋण चाहिन्छ? तपाईं आफ्नो इमेल संपर्क भने उपरोक्त तुरुन्तै ठीक ऋण स्थानान्तरण प्रक्रिया गर्न।