Video prompts Texas woman's K2 journey to find bodies of father, brother

Published: September 17, 2015
Marty and Denali Schmidt. PHOTO: FOXNEWS

Marty and Denali Schmidt. PHOTO: FOXNEWS

Prompted by a grim visual from the world’s second-tallest mountain, one viewer was left with no choice but to launch a quest to find the remains of her brother and father who died on K2.

A video shared by mountaineer Mike Horn’s on Facebook showed a partially preserved head resting on a glacier in northern Pakistan – the head may have belonged to Sequoia Di Angelo’s brother.  The 24-year-old Houston native lost both her father and brother to the mountain two years ago.


A photo posted by Sequoia Di Angelo (@sequoiadiangelo) on

“I immediately thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s my brother’s head,’” Di Angelo told FoxNews “I’m sure every family who lost someone on that mountain thought the same thing and experienced the same sick feeling in seeing that.”

Driven by the video, Di Angelo contacted other families who had lost their loved ones on K2 in recent years and procured an emergency visa to travel to Pakistan.

Traveling with one of my dads old duffel bags #prettycool #memories #pakistan

A photo posted by Sequoia Di Angelo (@sequoiadiangelo) on

Once in Pakistan, Di Angelo contacted locals who knew about her father and brother and made arrangements to reach Skardu, where the daunting mountain stands.

Read: Dangerous roads: Security challenges loom large on Karakoram Highway

Despite warnings from the US embassy about the unstable security situation, Angelo remained determined and obtained a permit from the Alpine Club of Pakistan.

Geared up! #pakistan #Karakorum #k2

A photo posted by Sequoia Di Angelo (@sequoiadiangelo) on

She then began her eight-day trek with a team of five Pakistani guides across the Karakoram landscape to the K2 base camp.

Most incredible team I could ask for to help me along the way! #ourcook #myguide #karakoramexpeditions

A photo posted by Sequoia Di Angelo (@sequoiadiangelo) on

The mules grazing at camp Concordia #sunset #thisisthelife #pakistan

A photo posted by Sequoia Di Angelo (@sequoiadiangelo) on

Di Angelo and her team located the remains featured on Horn’s video, and after collecting DNA samples wrapped the remains and buried them in a moving ceremony on the memorial site along with prayers and a moment of silence.

Although it has not yet been determined whether the remains belonged to her father and brother, the ceremony helped Di Angelo process the death of her father and brother.

“It does not matter whom the remains belong to,” she said. “For me, it is not a singular line of respect that only falls for the remains of my brother and father, but rather wholehearted respect for all who have perished while on K2.

Beautiful sights of Mother Nature at her finest! #Karakorum #k2 #pakistan #nature #beauty

A photo posted by Sequoia Di Angelo (@sequoiadiangelo) on

“Whomever these remains may belong to, they deserve respect and the families deserve to know that they have received an honorary burial.”

Di Angelo’s father, Marty Schmidt, 53, and her brother, Denali, were both veteran climbers, who died in an avalanche on July 26, 2013. They were trying to become the first father-son team to successfully climb the 28,251-foot peak.

This article originally appeared on Foxnews

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (4)

  • Pakistani
    Sep 18, 2015 - 12:51AM

    I am so sorry for your loss!

    Please, everyone, please stop taking part in such life threatening dangerous activities. Think about your family at leastRecommend

  • Humza
    Sep 18, 2015 - 2:46AM

    Sad to hear of the loss of the climbers. Climbing is inherently a dangerous sport but I am glad to hear this trip brought closure for the daughter.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Sep 18, 2015 - 9:59AM

    Closure attained, every one has to die, but some Die and leave a mark !! Well done Lady & may the departed Souls rest in Peace. AmenRecommend

  • Maqsood
    Sep 18, 2015 - 9:39PM

    We welcome you to Pakistan. Your intentions are appreciable. You are a mark able example to those who will come later…Recommend

More in Pakistan