A climber lay dying in the snow for two hours as other climbers surrounded him, reportedly more focused on setting personal records, new sources claim.
Muhammad Hassan, 27, lay badly injured 1,300ft from the summit of K2 after slipping in a bottleneck area of the mountain on July 27, his expedition company told MailOnline.
The Sherpa was said to have “slipped and hung” on a rope, unable to “speak or hear” as he waited for help to arrive on his first expedition with the company. It is not known if the expedition was his first as a climber.
Anwar Syed of the Lela Peak Expedition said two climbers “did their best to bring him down, but they couldn’t do it and he passed away after two hours.”
The expedition party claims that it offered payment to other High Porters to recover the body, but “they all said that it is impossible to bring it down.”
Syed noted that Hassan was standing much higher than three climbers whose bodies were previously deemed irretrievable from the mountain in Pakistan.
Other mountaineers have accused the climbers of skirting Hassan as he passed through the bottleneck, claiming they were more interested in setting records than saving the injured keeper’s life.
Muhammad Hassan lay dying after slipping on a dangerous spot on the mountain.
Instead of helping him, the fellow climbers scrambled up the side of the mountain and passed him.
K2 climbers have alleged that dozens of fellow climbers carefully approached it, risking their lives as they clung to the side of the narrow ledge.
They then climbed around the wounded 27-year-old as he was left to die as they continued their own personal bid for glory.
A Mountaineer’s Code of Ethics: What should Hassan’s fellow climbers have done to help him?
The International Federation of Climbing and Mountaineering (UIAA) advises that all climbers practice their sport at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety.
In providing advice to mountaineers, the group, considered the international governing body for climbing and mountaineering, advises that “all participants in mountain sports must clearly understand the risks and dangers.”
While the organization does not explicitly state how or if fellow climbers should have helped Hassan, especially considering that they may have put themselves at risk, they are advised to be “ready to help others in case of an emergency or accident and also be ready” . deal with the consequences of a tragedy.
Kristin Harila, a Norwegian climber who passed Hassan, said she and her team had done everything they could to help him, but the conditions on K2 were too dangerous.
After footage of the incident surfaced, Norway’s Kristin Harila and her team, who walked past Hassan, are now facing claims they were more interested in securing a new world record than helping the stricken climber.
She is also accused of throwing a party shortly after achieving the record that saw her climb 14 of the world’s highest peaks in just over three months, despite Hassan’s death.
The fellow climbers, reigniting anger over how Sherpas are treated as “second-class human beings”, said a western climber would not have been left to die in the same case.
She has since said that she and her team did everything they could to help Hassan, but the conditions on K2 were too dangerous to move him.
But mountaineer Philip Flämig, an Austrian who was climbing with Wilhelm Steindl, said drone footage the two recorded showed a trail of climbers walking over the injured body instead of helping Hassan.
“He is being treated by one person while everyone else is pushing to the top,” he told the Standard Austrian newspaper, referring to the drone footage.
“The fact is that there was no organized rescue operation, although there were Sherpas and mountain guides on the scene who could have taken action.” Harila and his team members were among those climbers, The Telegraph informed.
He called the death a “disgrace” and said “such a thing would be unthinkable in the Alps”, referencing the ongoing debate over how Sherpas are used in the Himalayas.
‘If he had been a Westerner, he would have been rescued immediately. Nobody felt responsible for him,’ he told the Austrian publication.
‘A living human being was left lying around so that records could be set.’
Harila defended his actions and choices in K2 last month to The Telegraph, saying “we did everything we could for him.”
She told the publication: ‘It’s just not true to say we didn’t do anything to help him. We tried to get him up for an hour and a half and my cameraman stayed for another hour to take care of him. At no time was he left alone.
She said that given the conditions, it was unlikely that she could be saved, having fallen on what she said was “probably the most dangerous part of the mountain, where the chances of taking someone were limited by the narrow trail and the little snow.” conditions’.
Norwegian climber Kristin Harila (pictured) said she and her team did their best to help Hassan, but the conditions on K2 were too dangerous to move him.
The climbers were only 1,200 feet from the top of K2, the second highest mountain in the world.
Footage of the death from last month shows people physically climbing on Hassan as he lies helpless in deep snow.
The video is then panned to show clouds several thousand feet below them, revealing how high they were when the images were taken.
The air is so thin at this altitude that everyone seen in the video was wearing oxygen masks.
It seems that only one person ended up helping him, an unknown rescuer who managed to keep him conscious for a while before he died from his injuries. There was no rescue operation to help the young man.
Steindl, who participated in the climb but had returned to base camp earlier due to dangerous conditions, also told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he was disgusted by the inaction of fellow climbers.
‘It was a very heated and competitive race to the top. What happened there is scandalous.
‘A living person is left behind so that records can be set. It only took 3 or 4 people to save him. If I had seen him, I would have climbed up to help the poor man.
Despite these strong claims, different accounts of the tragedy have circulated, raising uncertainty about what exactly happened up until K2.
Lakpa Sherpa, a climber who was climbing and took the video, told MailOnline that the footage does not capture what actually happened:
‘Some of the climbers and Sherpas tried to save his life, but he died.
‘All the climbers have spent a lot of money to do this climb and there is also the value of time in the climb. Hundreds of climbers tried to save him but they can’t give up their mission.
“The reality is that they have tried to save life and this is below the big bottleneck of serace, where it is impossible to cross without a rope, so it is a very difficult situation.
“Many climbers and Sherpas told him to go back because he had very poor equipment and was not well equipped and there was also very bad weather during the summit window, but he didn’t listen and then he fell down.”
“It was very difficult to lower the body. They have to climb the mountain. There is only a slim chance for them.
Bulgarian climber Silvia Azdreeva, who was on the trip when Hassan died, said in a Facebook post that climbing K2 is not for the faint of heart: “On K2 there is no one to save you so fast, you will have to wait.” . days if something happens to you.
‘This mountain is not for everyone. K2 has a very heavy character.’
Bulgarian climber Silvia Azdreeva said: ‘This mountain is not for everyone. K2 has a very heavy character’
K2, pictured from the town of Askole in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, gained notoriety as the ‘Wild Mountain’ after American mountaineer George Bell descended from the summit in 1953.
Shockingly, Wilhelm Steindl claimed that a party was held shortly after Mr. Hassan’s death to celebrate Kristin Harila, a Norwegian woman who set a new world record after climbing all 14 of the world’s highest peaks in just over 3 months. .
‘I didn’t go, I was upset. Someone had just died up there,’ said the furious climber.
He revealed in a GoFundMe set up for Mr. Hassan’s family that he leaves behind three children and a wife, as well as an elderly grandmother.
At press time, the page has already raised £63,000.
Newly crowned world record holder Kristin Harila said of the tragedy: “My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Hassan’s family and loved ones and I feel very saddened by this whole situation.”
K2 is considered the most dangerous mountain in the world, having a death rate of around 19 percent compared to just 6.5 percent on Everest, according to estimates.
For every 20 people who make it to the top of Everest, only one makes it to the top of K2 and there are inherently more risks.
The routes on K2 are not as defined or well designed as the climbing is much more technical with a mix of rock, ice and alpine climbing and avalanches are also much more common.
The mountain gained notoriety as the ‘Wild Mountain’ after American climber George Bell descended from the summit in 1953, where he nearly slipped and died.
‘It’s a wild mountain trying to kill you,’ he observed after his treacherous ascent.