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Norwegian climber says it will have been not possible to hold injured Pakistani porter down snowy K2

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BERLIN — A record-setting Norwegian mountaineer pushed again Sunday towards claims that she may have accomplished extra to save lots of the lifetime of a Pakistani porter who slipped off a slender path close to the height of the world’s most treacherous mountain and died there after a number of hours.

The circumstances of Mohammad Hassan’s July 27 demise on K2, the world’s second-highest peak, sparked ongoing controversy, with two climbers arguing that he may have been saved if all these on the mountain that day had aborted their climb and centered on getting him down safely.

The fallout from Hassan’s demise overshadowed a file established by Norwegian climber Kristin Harila and her Sherpa information, Tenjin. By climbing K2 that day, they turned the world’s quickest climbers, scaling the world’s 14 highest mountains in 92 days.

Harila instructed The Related Press on Sunday that “within the snowy situation we had up there that day, it wouldn’t be attainable to hold him down.”

“I’m certain that if it was attainable that we noticed an opportunity to hold him down from there, everybody would have tried that,” she mentioned by Zoom from Norway. “However it was not possible.”

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The uproar had been sparked by drone footage exhibiting dozens of climbers pushing previous a gravely injured Hassan towards the summit. The trail to the height was crowded on July 27, described because the final day of the season for a attainable ascent.

In Pakistan, native authorities within the Gilgit-Baltistan area, which has jurisdiction over K2, fashioned a five-member committee on Aug. 7 to research Hassan’s demise. The committee’s mandate famous that it’s essential to find out the info after “distressing experiences circulating on numerous social media platforms.”

Investigators will attempt to decide, amongst different issues, whether or not extra may have been accomplished to save lots of Hassan, mentioned Sajid Hussain, deputy director of the Sports activities and Tourism division of Gilgit-Baltistan. He instructed the AP on Sunday that investigators are to submit their findings on Aug. 22.

Hassan, a 27-year-old father of three, was employed by the Pakistan-based expedition firm Lela Peak and was assigned to a group of Russian climbers, mentioned firm director Anwar Syed.

Requested if she felt the controversy had tainted her file, Harila mentioned “in fact,” however didn’t elaborate. She appeared distraught at instances through the interview and mentioned she had obtained demise threats.

“We tried for hours to save lots of him and we had been on in all probability essentially the most harmful space” of K2, she mentioned including that she and her teammates had been “taking a really, very large danger.”

Harila mentioned Hassan slipped and fell off the slender path round 2:15 a.m. on July 27, dangling on a rope the other way up. On the time, Hassan had been second within the line of climbers. Harila mentioned she was eighth and her group members had been in seventh and ninth place, respectively.

As they tried to tug Hassan onto the trail, an avalanche got here down close to the place her ahead fixing group was. After 90 minutes of attending to Hassan, Harila and a teammate moved within the route of the summit to examine on the fixing group, whereas her cameraman, Gabriel, stayed behind with Hassan, she mentioned.

Gabriel shared his oxygen with Hassan, gave him heat water and tried to heat him. She mentioned Gabriel stayed with the porter for two.5 hours however began working out of oxygen. Gabriel then moved towards the height to fulfill up with Harila’s sherpas who had additional oxygen tanks. At the moment, there have been additionally others attending to Hassan, she mentioned.

When Gabriel arrived on the peak, Harila requested him how Hassan was doing. She mentioned Gabriel instructed her that he was “in very unhealthy form.”

On the best way again down, she noticed Hassan’s {dead} physique mendacity on the trail.

Harila rejected claims made by Austrian climber Wilhelm Steindl that extra would have been accomplished if a Westerner had been damage on the mountain. Steindl and German climber Philip Flaemig, who shot the drone footage, had deserted their K2 climb earlier that day due to unhealthy climate.

“We did actually attempt to save him and we might have accomplished simply the identical if it was me or anybody else that was hanging the other way up there,” she mentioned. “We couldn’t have accomplished something extra.”

Harila mentioned Hassan did not appear to have correct gear or coaching as a high-altitude porter and that it appeared to have been his first ascent.

“It was a really tragic accident that occurred on K2 that day,” Harila mentioned. “And we really feel so sorry for Hassan himself and for his household, his spouse and his youngsters and his mom.”

Hussain, the regional official, mentioned investigators would take a look at the porter’s gear and coaching. They may even evaluation climate circumstances on July 27, together with avalanches, and look at the actions of the expedition firm that employed Hassan.

The investigators are questioning porters and Sherpa guides, he mentioned, although it was not clear if overseas climbers can be interviewed as nicely. The group has collected related paperwork from authorities departments and personal corporations concerned in K2 ascent. Hussain mentioned the investigators had been additionally visiting the K2 base camp and different related areas.

Steindl instructed the AP on Saturday that he felt extra may have been accomplished to save lots of Hassan. “Everybody would have needed to flip again to carry the injured particular person again all the way down to the valley.”

“I don’t need to sort of instantly blame anyone,” Steindl mentioned. “I’m simply saying there was no rescue operation initiated and that’s actually very, very tragic as a result of that’s really essentially the most regular factor one would do in a state of affairs like that.”

In Hassan’s dwelling village of Tisar, pals and neighbors visited the household, providing prayers of condolence.

A childhood pal, Basharat Hussain, mentioned Hassan had been decided to offer alternatives for his youngsters that he by no means had, together with an schooling.

“I believe that is essentially the most dehumanizing occasion in my life,” he mentioned, including that he hopes “it is not going to occur sooner or later.”

Steindl visited Hassan’s household and arrange a crowd-funding marketing campaign. After 4 days, donations reached greater than 125,000 euros (simply over $137,000).


Related Press journalist Zarar Khan contributed to this story from Islamabad, Pakistan.

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