Dutch climbers Wilco van Rooijen (top) and Gerard McDonnel on K2 (8611m). Preliminary reports suggest these two and about ten others are trapped above the “Bottleneck” just below K2’s summit; the fixed ropes that usually aid passage through this section were wiped out by a chunk of serac ice. [Photo] www.noritk2.nl
News Flash: The following news flash is a preliminary report posted as a service to our readers. Alpinist has not confirmed the veracity of its contents but will post a story in detail when more information becomes available.—Ed.
Following numerous ascents of K2 (8611m) yesterday, a serac fall has pulled fixed ropes off of the traverse and “Bottleneck,” trapping about twelve descending climbers above.
Earlier today Serbian climber Dren Mandic likely perished after a fall at the Bottleneck.
Dutch climber Cas van de Gevel and Pemba Gyalje Sherpa were able to climb through the damaged section without fixed ropes; they are recovering in Camp 4. The other climbers, mostly Dutch and Korean, are trapped high on the mountain for the time being. A joint-expedition rescue is being organized, and at least six climbers are headed toward the Bottleneck with more rope.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.