1995 K2 disaster

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The 1995 K2 disaster was a mountaineering disaster on K2 in Pakistan, the world's second tallest mountain. Six people are reported to have died on August 13, 1995 on K2, largely related to bad weather especially reported high winds.[1] Scott Fischer of Mountain Madness was climbing Broad Peak at the time, and suggested that a contributing factor was combination of brutal cold and 160-kilometre-per-hour-plus (100 mph) winds.[1]

An American team had gained a permit to climb 8,611-metre (28,251 ft) K2 in the summer of 1995. K2 is regarded as a significantly more difficult and dangerous climb than Mount Everest. By August 13, 1995, the remnants of the U.S. team and Alison Hargreaves had joined forces with a New Zealand and Canadian team at Camp 4, around 7,600 metres (24,900 ft) above sea level, and at least 12 hours from the summit. Later that day, having joined with a Spanish team of mountaineers above Camp 4, New Zealander Peter Hillary, son of Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary, decided to turn back, noting that the weather that had been fine for the previous four days appeared to be changing.[2] At 6:45 p.m., in fine conditions, Alison Hargreaves and Spaniard Javier Olivar reached the summit, followed by American Rob Slater, Spaniards Javier Escartín and Lorenzo Ortíz, and New Zealander Bruce Grant. All six died in a violent storm while returning from the summit.[3] Canadian Jeff Lakes, who had turned back below the summit earlier, managed to reach one of the lower camps but died from the effects of exposure.[1][4]

The next day, two Spanish climbers, Pepe Garces and Lorenzo Ortas (not Lorenzo Ortíz, who was killed in the storm), who had survived the storm at Camp 4, were descending the mountain suffering from frostbite and exhaustion. Before reaching Camp 3 they found a bloodstained anorak, a climbing boot, and a harness. They recognized the equipment as belonging to Hargreaves. From Camp 3 they could also see a body in the distance. They did not approach the body, so it was not positively identified, but they had little doubt it was Hargreaves' and concluded she had been blown off the mountain during the storm.[5][6]

Fatalities reported for August 13, 1995:[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, Paul. "Scottish Climber Alison Hargreaves and Six Others Killed on K2". Outside Online. Archived from the original on 2009-12-23.
  2. ^ Hillary, Peter. "In the name of the father: The 1995 K2 Expedition". peterhillary.com.
  3. ^ a b Child, Greg (November 1995). "The Last Ascent of Alison Hargreaves". Outside magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  4. ^ a b "Alison Hargreaves". everestnews.com.
  5. ^ a b Boggan, Steve (August 19, 1995). "K2: the final hours". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  6. ^ "Extract" (PDF). The Sunday Times. December 3, 1995.
  7. ^ 8000ers - Fatalities - K2