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Mountaineering Deaths on K2

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Published on Aug 6, 2008

ANCHOR:
An update on the horrific K2 hiking tragedy in Pakistan. It seems that out of 18 trekkers only two have survived. Among the dead are three Koreans, two Nepalis, two Pakistani high altitude porters, French, Serbian and Norwegian climbers and an Irishman.

STORY:
The unforgiving slopes of K2 is the world's second largest mountain after Everest, based in north Pakistan. It is a notoriously difficult ascent and now the mountain has claimed more lives in one devastating expedition than ever before in its history.

Several teams amassed for a joint assault on the summit but eleven of their members from all over the world were to die trying.

Disaster struck during the descent of a steep gully known as the Bottleneck eight thousand meters above sea level.

Several died when an ice wall collapsed and tore away their safety lines. Others, stranded, died in the freezing oxygen starved air at an altitude known as the death zone.

Dutch survivor Van Rooijen, seen here in a Pakistan hospital, said he screamed for people to work together but they appeared consumed with self preservation.

Some tried to find their own way down on a mountain where to be lost means almost certain death.
His compatriot, Las van de Gevel, was also rescued and was recuperating.

One Italian spent four nights on K2 before finally managing to make it to safety despite severe frostbite.
Technically more difficult to climb than Mount Everest, K2 is even harder to descend.

Mountaineering veterans have questioned the wisdom of an assault on the summit that resulted in some climbers reaching the top after night fall. More than 70 people have been killed on K2, many on their way down.

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