Himalayan climbers leave rescuers dying – ‘Would very well have been able to save him’

Himalayan climbers leave rescuers dying – ‘Would very well have been able to save him’
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Shocking scenes from K2: climbers climb past a helpless helper, he dies next to the path. Expert Lukas Furtenbach raises serious allegations.

Munich – These pictures are hard to bear: A man lies helpless in the snow just next to the trail. A number of climbers simply walk past him, climb over him. A little later, the man, a high-altitude porter from Pakistan, is dead. The whole thing happened at 8,200 meters and quickly became known as the shame of K2.

Mountaineers let fallen Sherpa die: Video from K2 shakes the world

Wilhelm Steindl from Austria filmed the incident with his drone. He had stayed at camp that day. He says: “We were shocked. We counted 70 climbers who climbed over there.” Steindl explains to Bayerischer Rundfunk: “The pictures show other climbers climbing over him.” Other videos are also circulating on the internet.

Why did the alpinists leave the man behind to die? “It was a very heated, competitive summit rush,” says Steindl dem Standard“What happened there is a disgrace. A living person is left behind so that records can be set.”

Rescue of the Sherpa on the K2 impossible? Expedition expert disagrees

Others defend the mountaineering group: rescue is impossible in the steep terrain and at this altitude. Lukas Furtenbach, extreme mountaineer and managing director of an expedition provider, vehemently contradicts this in an interview with Bayern 2.

The extreme mountaineer Lukas Furtenbach thought it was possible to save the injured high porter on K2. © Screenshot Twitter/@EverestToday/Screenshot ORF

“The Sherpas would very well have been able to save him. From their knowledge and equipment. Even in the difficult terrain,” says the experienced alpinist. And he also holds the vacationers responsible: “The customers can’t do it, but you can blame them for not telling their Sherpas: Hey, we have to help there. You can’t ask that of someone who doesn’t have the training. But you can expect moral courage.”

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“He was definitely still alive”: Alpine professional emphasizes that guided mountaineers should have stopped climbing

The customers being led up the mountain could have asked their mountain guides to abort the climb and help the man. She even should have done that, emphasizes Furtenbach. “He was definitely still alive for several hours after the accident,” he says of the high-altitude beam, which was clearly visible in the pictures.

It is often said that everyone is responsible for themselves at the top, but “I have to disagree very clearly,” says the extreme mountaineer. “Nowadays everyone runs with oxygen bottles, is just as efficient there as on the small mountain in Bavaria.”

The Himalayan mountains with their numerous eight-thousanders are popular with extreme sports enthusiasts. Still, it’s very dangerous. In the spring of 2023, the German mountaineer Luis Stitzinger died. And only in July, a helicopter with six people on board crashed near Mount Everest. (moe)


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