There is a report from George Dimitrjescu on Everestnews that a climber has died on K2. A Bulgarian climber may have died within the last few days. The details are sketchy but initial reports suggest that he died and may not have had enough assistance from a porter when in trouble. All of this has occurred on the Abruzzi Spur where a number of parties have been climbing in the weather window.
This all started when Dimitrjescu spoke to the Bulgarian at C1, the Bulgarian wanted to know the way to C2. But he said it in a semi daze, not aware of his plight. He kept asking Dimitrjescu for the way over and over. There was a language barrier but also it might be that he was not in good condition. Eventually they parted their ways, though Dimitrjescu was concerned for his safety.
When Dimitrjescu got higher on the mountain he asked the Korean expedition leader to radio his men to find out what had happened to the Bulgarian climber who was far below him. The Korean leader signaled a cut throat to Dimitrjescu. This signified to him that the Bulgarian climber was dead. Also he heard reports that the equipment of the Bulgarian was still outside of his tent several days later. This included his crampons.
On the way down Dimitrjescu wanted to go and look inside of his tent at C2 and see if the climber was dead. He collected some of his gear and intended to check whether he was alive. Unfortunately, he had an accident and started slipping quite a way below C2 to the House Chimney (a very steep and rocky section). Once he was right he decided to keep going to C1. He feels regret for doing so now.
Dimitrjescu is feeling extremely upset by what occurred. But if these reports are true then the porter who went back to base camp after seeing the Bulgarian climber at C2 may have some responsibility for what has happened. He says though that he is not yet finished with K2. He intends to go on and try for the summit. Sunday looks like a possible likely day that there will be an attempt up the mountain.
This death – if it has happened – would be related to the effects of high altitude and not other factors it would seem at this point. If confirmed then this will be the first death on K2 since Michele Fait died while skiing on the lower slopes in 2009. This had a profound effect on many of the climbers who were there at the time.
All these events will need to be verified from other sources, and ones that have actually seen the dead climber.