Extreme skier dies on K2

10th August 2010, by Chris Gill

Extreme skiing - F Ericsson

Extreme skiing - F Ericsson

Swedish ski mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson has died in the Himalayas, following a fall on the world’s second highest mountain K2.

Ericsson was attempting the scale the peak, and making his summit bid on Friday 6 August, when he reportedly slipped and fell over 1000m to his death.

The Swedish mountaineer had been trying to become the first person to ski the world’s three highest mountains; this was his second time on K2 (8611m) - nicknamed the “Savage Mountain” for very good reasons: its slopes have claimed the lives of many climbers, and is regarded as a tougher and more technical ascent than Everest.

Ericsson and his two companions had reached the top camp and were making a push for the summit. One climber retreated to camp 4, while Ericsson and Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner continued. It is believed that Ericsson slipped while lead climbing the slopes, fixing rope in a section known as the ‘bottleneck’, and was unable to arrest his fall. A memorial service was held on Monday 9 August for Fredrik at the Gilkey Memorial, just below basecamp.

The professional climber was in his mid 30’s and had spent much of his recent years in Chamonix, but travelling to the Himalaya to live his dream of skiing off the world’s biggest summits. He had successfully tackled Gasherbrum 2 (8035m), for example. The project to climb K2 had begun a three-year dream to scale the top three: Kangchenjunga (8586m) and then Mount Everest would have followed in the autumn. Sadly, that dream will no longer be realised. As in many other mountaineering cases of its kind, Ericsson’s parents are reported to have asked that his body remain on the mountain - the place in which he loved to be. It would likely be difficult and dangerous to retrieve anyway.

More about Fredrik Ericsson on his website: www.fredrikericsson.com

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