Sunday, August 03, 2008

9 Climbers Feared Dead on World's Second-Highest Mountain

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — "At least nine climbers were feared dead on K-2, the world's second highest mountain, after an avalanche cut ropes used to cross a treacherous wall of ice, officials and other climbers said Sunday.

Several other mountaineers were missing, prompting a desperate rescue effort on the peak in northern Pakistan, which is regarded as more dangerous to climb than Mount Everest.

A total of 22 people, mostly foreigners, in eight different groups scaled K-2's summit on Friday, said Nazir Sabir of the Alpine Club of Pakistan.

As they made their way down, an avalanche carried away ropes fixed 1,148 feet below the peak, sweeping some climbers to their deaths and stranding others at a height where they would likely succumb to exposure, Sabir said.

Accounts varied on the number of dead and how they died.

Sabir said nine people died in the avalanche. Included in that number, were two rescuers — a Nepalese sherpa and a Pakistani porter — who survivors said fell to their death.

He said two other climbers — a Pakistani and a Serbian on an expedition he helped organize — fell to their deaths Friday on the way up."

Suicide by rock. When far younger, I gave climbing Everest a thought. A wealthy friend used to come up with all kinds of crazed ideas. Then we sobered up. On the way to the airport. For me, there's no glory in traipsing up overgrown hills merely for the bragging rights. Hell, they don't even give you a trophy or anything.

As far as it being "a horror", sweet jeez give me a break. If the bloody mountain fell on someone, THAT'D be a horror. Bunch of dopes frolicking upwards then going backwards lots faster than they imagined is nature taking its course.

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