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He cannot, and we fear he will not, avoid this. It's a paradox: only he can recount what happened, but there will always be those who doubt him. Not only because it all took place at those extremely high altitudes where the mechanisms of life degrade, include cerebral functions such as attention, memory and in general all cognitive capacities.

K2 tragedy: 'We had no body, no funeral, no farewell ' | Life and style | The Guardian

But also because, in this like in all tragedies, the border between inevitable destiny and human error or wrong decisions is more ill-defined than ever. In fact, if one thing is certain, then it is the series of "errors" of "wrong decisions" which seem to have been taken by many alpinists in both the initial and final stages of the ascent. There were too many. They were too slow.

Probably they equipped the Bottle Neck inadequately. Very few judged that situation as being extremely critical.

K2 Mountain of Mountains - A documentary by Tunç Fındık

But above all, the majority did not heed one of the commandments of the m peaks: there's a cut-off point for the ascent, after which you need to turn around, regardless of the distance to the summit even if weather conditions, like on that day, are perfect. It's clear that this doesn't always take place: it happened and will happen again that someone pushes themselves beyond this point, that they "take the risk".

But this forms an integral a part of individual choices and decisions which every alpinist must have the ability to make while, when they are present, being aware and unfortunately "accepting" the consequences. We wish to add that this type of analysis has nothing to do with a lack of respect for the pain for those who are no longer with us, nor with a catastrophic vision of alpinism.

As we have written on various occasions, mistakes are made and alpinists will continue to make mistakes in the mountains. Just like we will continue to enjoy the immense joy of climbing mountains. But mountaineering is also about being aware of the risks, knowing how to judge them and, last but not least, having a profound and clear motivation which goes beyond reaching the aim at all costs.

Only like this can one renounce, abandon aims.

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That knowing how to turn back which many great mountaineers have indicated as being essential. This is the hardest exercise of all. Just like it difficult and, in some respects a mistake, to sustain that this is the "truth" and the "key" to this and other mountain accidents.


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Talking about them, writing about them and analysing them is only an attempt to question oneself, to get a greater understanding to take to the mountains with greater awareness and knowledge of ourselves. It is for this reason that, while waiting to read the book by Graham Bowley, that we recommend two videos.


  1. K2 disaster - Wikipedia.
  2. No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 by Graham Bowley.
  3. Baseball After 9/11: Six Nights That Helped Heal America.
  4. The second, which we filmed in at the TrentoFestival, is Marco Confortola's first-hand account of what he experienced on K2. Full text search. Gloves for ice climbing, ski mountaineering Reliable, durable quickdraw for outdoor climbing Alpine touring boot for women Breathable, lightweight, waterproof Futurelight skiing jacket for women Lightweight, comfortable sport climbing harness Others, like McDonnell, were forced to bivouac spend the night in the Death Zone—at minus degrees, with no tent, sleeping bags, food, drink, or oxygen.

    No Way Down: Life and Death On K2

    A full-blown catastrophe began playing out, and Bowley readily admits that the exact details of what happens will always remain with K2. It is only in his epilogue, however, after some pages of narrative, that we fully learn how contentious conflicting accounts have gotten. The worst of these centers around McDonnell. Did he lose his life helping three stranded climbers, or did he wander off in the middle of a rescue attempt, apparently having lost his faculties, as a surviving climber, Marco Confortola, claims? Confortola tells Bowley that McDonnell succumbed to the conditions and walked away, while he alone remained to help the stricken men.

    They believe McDonnell freed the mountaineers and was descending behind them when another avalanche occurred. One: Get home. Two: Stay friends. Three: Reach your goal. Enter your keywords. Author s :. Graham Bowley. Release Date:. May 23, Buy on Amazon. Reviewed by:.