Alan Arnette: Yet Another Death in the Karakoram
This is the third death in two weeks to come out of the climbing teams in Pakistan.
Once again, there is sad news from the Northern Pakistan Mountains. While attempting the almost 8,000-meter peak Gasherbrum IV, 32 year-old Italian climber Maurizio Giordano was hit by falling ice while on rappel. He died on the mountain. GIV is 7,925-meters and near Gasherbrum I and II.
Giordano was on an acclimatization rotation with fellow Italian Army climbers Marco Majori, Marco Farina and Daniele Bernasconi. They had reached Camp 2 but decided to return to base camp as weather moved in. Multiple news agencies report the incident occurred at 6,300 meters. His body has not been retrieved yet. The team wanted to be the first to repeat the Bonatti-Mauri route along the northwest ridge on its sixty anniversary.
Other GIV Attempts Still Underway
There are several other teams on GIV including the Italian Hervé Barmasse and the German climber David Göttler, who are targeting a first ascent of the Southwest Face.
Adam Bielecki, Jacek Czech and Felix Berg want to open a new route on the East Face of GIV after they climb GII.
Also the Basque-Catalan group lead by Oriol Baró, Marc Toralles, Roger Cararach and Iker Madoz are attempting the South Pillar of GIV.
The death of Giordano takes the summer toll to three in the Pakistan Karakoram. On Saturday, July 7, 2018, the Canadian climber Serge Dessureault is thought to have fallen to his death on K2 just below House’s Chimney or perhaps while rappelling down the Black Pyramid. A few days earlier, the Austrian Christian Huber died in an avalanche on Ultar Sar.
Alan Arnette is a speaker, mountaineer and Alzheimer’s Advocate. He has completed over 30 major expeditions including four Everest climbs with a summit in 2011. He completed his 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s project to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research. Find out more at www.alanarnette.com.
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