Monday, July 13, 2009
Karakorum 2009: Go Mi-Sun Lost on Nanga Parbat!
Sad news is coming in from the Karakorum following this weekend, as Korean climber Go Mi-Sun has perished on the mountain. According to this report from ExWeb, she fell on her descent at an altitude of 6200 meters and went missing near Camp 2. Her body was found later, and has since been removed from the mountain. She was in an unroped section of the Nanga Parbat at the time.
Miss Go's death wasn't the only one to hit the mountain over the weekend. Wolfgang Köblinger slipped and fell near the summit, shortly after he topped out. According to reports, there were high winds on the mountain at the time, and he was descending behind a Korean team, but when they looked back to check his progress, he was no longer there. Is last known footprints led to a very steep drop off at 8060 meters. There is no hope of finding him alive. Wolfgang was climbing with Gerfried’s Göschl’s team.
This is incredibly sad news, as I don't think it was any secret that Go Mi-Sun had quickly become a favorite climber of mine whom I was cheering on from a far. After she knocked off three 8000m peaks in Nepal this past spring, she had gotten herself into a position where she had an outside shot of becoming the first woman to knock of all 14 of those mountains. The plan for the summer was to top out on Nanga Parbat, using it as an acclimatization climb at the same time, then head to the Gasherbrums to knock off G1 and G2. That would have left her with just Annapurna to go.
Last week, when the reports came in about her successful summit on Nanga, the word was that she had used supplemental oxygen, which was not her typical approach to climbing. We are now told that she was not in fact on the O's when she topped out, but it was one of her companions instead. It was also noted that she was quite exhausted when returning from the summit, and I remarked at the time that I hoped her ambitious schedule was not catching up with her. Sadly, you can't help but wonder if that exhaustion didn't play into her fall on that unroped section between Camp 2 and 3.
My condolences to the friends and families of these two climbers. The mountaineering community grieves with you today.