Talk:2008 K2 disaster

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What happened?[edit]

The article starts out claiming people died in an avalanche. Then it describes one serac falling and cutting the fixed lines, and people dying trying to bypass the cut. Then there's a table of deaths, where a second, third and fourth serac are mentioned. If anyone has any decent sources, please go ahead and clear it up a bit. (talk) 22:19, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, really, with several books available, one would think that there would be someone who could contribute to the article with content requested above. More than a year has passed, and no one who knows is willing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:28, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Map done[edit]

Pinched from K2 article. Neıl 14:42, 6 August 2008 (UTC)


Whats the point of this page on Wikipedia. Shouldn't it be better on WikiNews. And Wikipedia is not a memorial site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by StewieGriffin! (talkcontribs) 17:21, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

No, because it will cease being news soon, and will pass into merely being a historical event. I like to learn about historical events from wikipedia, and it's not like this is wasting paper, you know? (talk) 20:04, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
A double digit death on a mountain is a notable event especially when it occurs on the second highest mountain in the world.--Revth (talk) 05:24, 7 August 2008 (UTC)


Could the word bottleneck in the fatalities section link to some definition of it. The bottleneck disambiguation doesnt have mountaineering. Lihaas (talk) 03:03, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, Bottleneck is not a mountaineering term, but simply a name given by mountaineers to a specific part of the route: a deep gorge overhung by blocks of ice. There is a link to Bottleneck (K2) further up in the article. DES (talk) 13:31, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
That's correct - it's so called because it's where the snow field narrows to a well defined gully. There's a picture of it here which gives a good impression of the sheer size of the overhanging seracs. Oh, for a free version. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 14:02, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Don't Panic[edit]

The sentence "There were still ten climbers above the Bottleneck, and panic broke out among them." doesn't appear to be supported by a reference (the panic bit - that is). Given the sort of climbing credentials one presumably requires for K2, I would be surprised if it attracted the sort of person that was easily given to panic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MarkTB (talkcontribs) 05:02, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

OK, I'm convinced - thanks for adding that ref Far Canal (talk) 02:52, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Depends on the situation. Try remaining calm when you know you're going to die alone on a remote mountain in an obscure part of the world with your body never being recovered. No amount of experience could prepare a climber for finding themselves in that situation. --Candlewicke Consortiums Limited 13:07, 13 August 2008 (UTC)


This article is hard to follow. Pretend you know nothing of the story, and try to read through it without getting confused.

"Camp IV also tried to send a group upwards, and they found Marco, who had managed to descend the Bottleneck and was lying unconscious in the snow. They returned to Camp IV." They who returned to Camp IV? I guess they is the rescuers - did they bring Marco along, or leave him where he lay?

The article says this of Gerard McDonnell: "Gerard started toward the Chinese side of the mountain" "Refused to descend because he was helping the others that were injured" Those two statements seem inconsistent with each other. And is Wikipedia on a first name basis with the late McDonnell? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:26, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

The main reason is: We don't know.
Currently, we have only very scetchy picture about what happened on the mountain, based on the published interviews of persons, injured, exhausted and suffered cold and thin air several days. Most of the uninjured climbers had not yet come back to "civilization" from the base camp, and only short blog entries and phone interviews from some of them are available.
The fate of Gerard belongs to the same category, as there has been three different theories what had happened to him. But we hope to get more information from the oncoming weeks, when more thorought interviews are published and injured persons recover. --Whiskey (talk) 12:12, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't feel qualified to edit, but I think you might find this helpful:

"In the early hours of 1 August, the first group of climbers and high-altitude porters – the Pakistani equivalent of Sherpas, but without the history or culture of climbing – start out to lay the fixed ropes. Among this first group are Korean climbers, who apparently insist on laying out the fixed rope earlier than had been planned."

That puts things in a completely different light - time needed to be spent fixing the ropes AGAIN b/c the Koreans insisted on laying it out early, which meant they ran out of rope and the Bottleneck took an extra SEVEN hours to traverse, and so climbers summitted mid-late afternoon/evening, which would be notoriously dangerous.

Anyway, the link is here[1]. Ravenwolf68 (talk) 10:52, 28 August 2008 (UTC)ravenwolf68

Here's another good article written by a knowledgeable journalist with a bit of distance and perspective, which is likely to be more accurate than the immediate news coverage. If anyone would like to rework the article based on it please do, otherwise I might have a go when I've finished one or two other things on my to do list. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 11:57, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Text removed over BLP concern[edit]

I have removed text from the article which amounts to a devastating criticism of one of the climbers involved in this incident. The text and indeed the article on the climbing website on which it was based amount to character assasination giving the impression of a self-aggrandizing charlatan who unscrupulously exploits this disaster to promote himself as a hero. Wikipedia's requirements for sourcing of potentially damaging information concerning living persons constitute a pillar among WP policies, and in a case such as the present one, significantly better sources would have to support the inclusion of the removed text than an unsigned article on a climbers' website written shortly after the disaster had taken place. If such sources can be presented I suggest that their applicability and the wording of the text is discussed here on the talk page prior to amending the article. __meco (talk) 19:18, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

The same accusations, based on the same single source, have been removed from the article on the climber in question. It should be noted that, and all carry the same article and are all owned by ExplorersWeb Inc. __meco (talk) 08:27, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


I've renamed this page so that it tallies with 1986 K2 disaster and 1996 Everest disaster. Ericoides (talk) 09:41, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Italian book[edit]

I notice that the newly written Italian Wikipedia article is sourced with a 2009 book about the disaster. That article (and indeed the book) will probably include valuable information which can be used in the present article. __meco (talk) 13:57, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Adding a section of causes for the incident[edit]

I'm not sure if it's necessary, but it might be appropriate to make a section listing and analyzing the specific reasons for the catastrophe, such as violations of established climbing doctrines and guidelines, mistakes, natural events, etc. I think this would wrap up the article well. I don't think it should necessarily be meant to criticize the climbers specifically, but it might help clarify the article by answering more concisely why this expedition went so wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:00, 20 June 2010 (UTC)


"Wilco van Rooijen handed Jumik Bhote his gloves, but was unable to help them any more." In the film The Summit -- admittedly not an unimpeachable source, but it is van Rooijen himself saying this -- van Rooijen says that he had a spare pair of gloves that he gave to Jumik Bhote. Probably should be clarified, since there is an enormous difference between the nearly insane self-sacrifice of handing off your only gloves in those circumstances and the magnanimous human act van Rooijen describes himself performing. - Jmabel | Talk 16:36, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I changed the wording to say: handed Jumik Bhote his spare pair of gloves. I have it in two books that this was what took place, so I cited one. None of these sources are unimpeachable, of course. What we need, of course, is a Zapruder film. ツ Thanks Fylbecatulous talk 17:22, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

References to Koreans (and Ireland)[edit]

I guess it's safe to assume that the "Koreans" in this story are from South Korea. And I'll surmise that the article calls them Koreans rather than South Koreans because (1) it's more concise, and (2) North Korea isolates itself so much from the rest of the world that they don't count. Okay, I can live with that, I'm no fan of North Korea. But I'd suggest the following two changes wouldn't be unreasonable:

1. Use "South Koreans" for the first reference.

2. In the List of Fatalities table, link South Korea instead of the current Korea. Korea is not a nation and should not appear in a column headed "Nationality".Mandruss (talk) 23:27, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Somewhat the same reasoning applies to "Ireland" in the table. It currently links to the article about the island of Ireland, which is a geographic, not political, entity. Like Korea, this doesn't belong under "Nationality". Since McDonnell was born in county Limerick, I would change this to link to Republic of Ireland. However, since Republic of Ireland is commonly called Ireland (that's even the heading of its infobox), we could leave "Ireland" as the displayed text in the table. Mandruss (talk) 00:24, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Those all sound like good ideas to me. One question: Do we know for certain the "Koreans" were South Koreans? This source also just says "Korean". I agree that they are probably SK, but just wondering if you happen to have a source stating that.
Just to clarify, are you planning to make these changes yourself, or would you rather someone else execute the edits? I would be happy to do it, it's up to you. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 01:17, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Good suggestions and if I may chime in; I'd like to see the flags reappear in that list. As for the nationality of the members of Mr. Kim's team; they were all South Korean, check Eberhard's list here.
Qwrk (talk) 01:39, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Racerx11: I'll give it a week and then make the changes if no good case is made against them. Qwrk answered your other question. Qwrk: Flags are cool, but it's a separate issue that I'll leave to you. Mandruss (talk) 01:44, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Had an edit conflict. OK I think I have confirmed it. This source says South Korean and this one states:
"KIM HYO-GYEONG, 33, Korean member of the South Gyeongsang arm of the Korean Alpine Federation, which sent an eight man team to the peak of K2 in 2000."
South Gyeongsang Province is in South Korea and it is my understanding that the Korean Alpine Federation is distinctly South Korean.
Qwrk, funny I was kicking around the idea of doing precisely that with the flags, and maybe the same at 1996 Mount Everest disaster--RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 01:47, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

A couple more thoughts. Qwrk's source is certainly the best if you were wanting to cite it anywhere. And I like to strike while the iron's hot, and if you couldn't tell, I was itching to make the changes when I first posted here :). Considering the support you already have, I think just a day or two would be fine before being bold and doing it. Just my opinion. Have fun! --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 02:18, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

If I may give you all one hint, but I'll be upfront and will admit I'm not entirely objective as I do co-operate with both Liz Hawley [Himalayan Database] and Eberhard Jurgalski []. When it comes to data, Liz just handles the mountains located in Nepal, but Eberhard also includes the 8000ers in Pakistan plus Shisha. Eberhard has an almost autistic approach when it come to accuracy so when in limbo about choosing what data to use; go for the data he provides. Just a suggestion :-)
Qwrk (talk) 06:59, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

This source is already used elsewhere in the article and provides the names and nationalities, including the desired "South Korea". My plan is to change the source for the entire table to use it instead. It doesn't provide really good support for the current contents of the last two columns of the table, Location of death and Cause of death, but I haven't found a source that does. If someone wants to dive into that can of worms, they're welcome to. In my opinion, strict adherence to Wiki principles would dictate removal of those two columns --- too many unknowns, too little consensus. But I'll leave that issue open. Mandruss (talk) 20:16, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

I have made the described changes, with one difference. I referenced the above source for the Name and Nationality columns of the table only. As I said, I know of no source for the current contents of the other two columns, so it would be incorrect to show citation for them. Someone else may feel inclined to (1) locate and cite a source for the current contents, or (2) modify the contents to agree with a source and cite it, or (3) delete those columns. Mandruss (talk) 19:39, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Flag icons removed from list of fatalities section[edit]

It was mentioned in the discussion above that we may like to have the flags back. They were removed a few days ago. Now I'm not a huge fan of flags. I have removed over 5,000 flag icons from mountain infoboxes over the last couple years (I did an edit summary search on my contributions), but I don't have a problem with their use here in the fatalities table. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 00:58, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Participants in this discussion should first read WP:ICON. The person who removed the flags (19 April) cited "inappropriate use". This reasoning may come from the following in WP:ICON: "Icons should not be added only because they look good". The flags might be more acceptable if they were functional; i.e., if they also served as country links and replaced the Nationality column in the table. For an example, see Vendee Globe. Mandruss (talk) 02:34, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

By all means. Thanks for providing the link. I should mention that I left a note at the talk page of the editor who removed them, shortly after starting this topic. Also, keep in mind that the WP page you linked isn't a strict rule or policy. (Using my pirate voice here)They're more like what you call "guidelines". Seriously though, it is a guideline, a good one, and following them is a good idea. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 03:07, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

I removed the flag icons because the use of flags in a table or article is only to be used when the person, team, etc., exists as a functional representative of the country in question. If climbing a mountain is done in a function where a country sends a group to climb, then by all means, the flag icon would be appropriate to use. However, in this case, because a given climber *comes* from a given country does not mean the person is a functional representative of the entity known as that country. If a person is skiing in the Olympics as a team member from Switzerland, then the use of the icon is acceptable. Beyond that, the country is not involved in the activity. The manual of style is fairly clear on this. See WP:MOSFLAG for guidelines. More relevantly, the next section at WP:WORDPRECEDENT states clearly "Flag icons may be relevant in some subject areas, where the subject actually represents that country, government, or nationality – such as military units, government officials, or national sports teams. In lists or tables, flag icons may be relevant when the nationality of different subjects is pertinent to the purpose of the list or table itself. And for what it is worth, the manual of style is more than just a good suggestion, it is the manual of style, which governs the presentation of text in this encyclopedia. Lizabetha (talk) 23:11, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for replying. For the sake of argument, i would like mention another article in question: 1996 Mount Everest disaster. In the book Into Thin Air the author refers to several of the expeditions by their country name, for example "Taiwan team", "South African team" and "Indian team", and I think at least a couple of them had some degree of government support or funding from their countries. Now, other than the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the members of these team were not among the fatalities on May 10-11. But had they been, it would have made a good argument to display the flags in that table per the MOS. Agree?
I realize you didn't remove the flags at that article and it's a moot point in any case. Just pointing out potentially there could be cases in mountaineering where your above interpretation isn't so clear cut. What would we do if half the fatalities are from government sponsored national expeditions, and the others are not? Could we flag the entire table? Just half? Or not at all?
As for the flags in this article, it's probably more to do with I just got used to them being there (and miss them now that they're gone), but I can live without 'em. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 02:47, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

requested citation in "Expedition goal: K2" section[edit]

"The months preceding the summit push were used for acclimatization and preparing for the camps higher on the mountain, the highest of them, Camp IV, just a little short of 8000 m above sea level.[citation needed]"

is the requested citation simply for the elevation of camp IV?

Ed WoodWiki (talk) 17:26, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

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