GILGIT: A mountain climber from Sweden plummeted to his death while climbing the world’s second highest mountain, K-2 in the Himalayas, local officials said.
Frederik Ericsson was trying to conquer the 8,611-metre (28,251-feet) peak, but fell and was buried under heavy snow, a senior government official said in the town of Shigar.
“He died at least four days ago. I have issued his death certificate after his guide told the police about his death,” said the official, Zamir Hussain. Local police officials have confirmed the report.
Ericsson’s Austrian climbing partners said last week that they believed he had died after falling about 1,000 metres away from the summit.
He was climbing with Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, who narrowly missed a bid to be the first woman to conquer all 14 of the world’s 8,000-metre peaks.
According to his website, Ericsson was attempting to ski the world’s three highest peaks: Mount Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga on the border between Nepal and China.
The K2 peak is regarded by climbers as far more dangerous and difficult to scale than Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. It also has a death rate almost five times as high, relative to other successful summit attempts.
Italian climbers Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli were the first to scale K2 on July 31, 1954. Between then and 2007, there have been 284 successful ascents and 66 fatalities.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2010.
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