Korean climber dead, Austrian lost on Nanga Parbat

by Nisar Abbas
SKARDU: Korean climber Go Mi-Sun (''Ko Mi-young'') has been confirmed dead after she went missing on Nanga Parbat Saturday while Austrian Wolfgang Koblinger lost on Nanga Parbat normal route.

Details are not yet clear on what exactly caused the accident. Fellow mountaineers on the peak reported she had summited on supplementary O2; Korean media reported she fell on descent at around 6200 meters close to camp 2.

With 11, 8000ers summited in a very short time, Go, 41, became known as a "dark horse" in the quest for the first female to summit all 14, 8000ers. This was the 11th of the 14 Himalayan peaks Ko had climbed. The ranges of the Himalayas rise up to 8,000 meters above sea level.

From the Austrian team, Hans Wenzl, Rick and Sandy made it to the summit but Wolfgang Koblinger went missing. The climber reportedly reached the summit together with a Korean expedition around 6 pm but fell on descent. Traces in the snow indicate Wolfgang might have gone over a steep section at 8060m.

The Korean embassy in Pakistan confirmed Go Mi-Sun''s death today. Her body will be airlifted by helicopter tomorrow, and transported to Korea soon after her family has arrived in Islamabad.

Go''s aunt, sister in law’ and sister Mi-Ran (48) are scheduled for Islamabad on Thursday together with members from supporting Kolon Sports. Her uncle recalled Go''s last words upon departing on the summit push as, "please pray for my successful summit of Nanga Parbat."

Portuguese Joao Garcia summited Nanga Parbat in high wind Saturday, bagging his 13th 8000er. About 8 climbers topped-out including Pakistani Ali and Amin. Giuseppe Pompili and Ariano del Cin turned back, meeting Korean Miss Oh (pushing for her 12th 8000er) about one hour into their descent.

The Korean lady was still going up at that point, but very slowly Pompili reported. The Kinshofer route climbers reported clear skies but hard wind, very cold conditions, and a steep climb from C2 to C3, entirely on hard ice. Joao Garcia carried ropes to C3,"he’s a true Gentleman, who had to make two trips to C3 for it,” Pompili said, adding that Korean Miss Oh told him she had used O2 only on K2 and Everest, and that she regretted it. After she’s done with the 14x8000ers, she reportedly hopes to repeat both peaks without gas. Nanga Parbat new route Gerfried Goschl, Louis Rousseau, Herbert Schutter, Sepp Bachmair and Hans Goger summited Nanga Parbat on Saturday via a new route.