Summer 2014 | Spaniard Miguel Angel Perez Lost on K2

It has been an astoundingly successful year on K2, with almost all the climbers reaching the summit. However, the season isn’t over yet, as few climbers are still on the mountain. In a tragic update from Base Camp, it has been informed that Spanish climber Miguel Ángel Pérez passed away in C4, yesternight.

Commemorative plaque to be placed at Gilkey Memorial; Source

Miguel Ángel Pérez reached C4 with the large group of first summit push climbers. On July 26th, he decided to turn back around 300m short of summit, because of cold. He was climbing without supplemental oxygen.

After returning to C4; eating, drinking and recovering from the fatigue of the day, Miguel decided to make another summit attempt, this time with bottled oxygen. In his second summit push, he made it to the top on July 28th.

Returning from the summit, Miguel was forced to bivouac above bottleneck at around 8300m (probably because of tiredness and exhaustion). In his last satellite communication from the mountain, he was approaching C4 on July 29th morning.

Rescue team getting ready to go up, yesterday; Source

After being unable to connect with him, friends of Miguel in Spain and Ferran Latorre at BC organized a rescue operation, yesterday. Four Pakistani climbers, Ali Durani, Hassan Jan, Ali and Basheer, who had just returned from the summit push, agreed to go up. Having left BC late, they were hoping to reach C2 yesterday and climb to C4, today.

However, yesterday evening a Sherpa from American climber Cleo Weidlich informed that Miguel was in C4 with Cleo and one other Sherpa. He was doing well. Nonetheless, the rescue party continued the ascent and was expecting to reach Miguel on descent, today.

This morning, however, came the news that Miguel Ángel Pérez passed away in C4, last night. It’s reported that he came back to C4 at around 12 yesterday and ate/drank with Cleo and Sherpa, before moving on to his tent. He seemed okay, but unfortunately was found dead, this morning.

Miguel Angel Perez climbing House Chimney; Photo: Ferran Latorre; Source 

Cleo Weidlich and Sherpa are descending and are expected to reach BC, today. Meanwhile, other climbers on mountain include a Polish team and Bulgarian Boyan Petrov, who reached C3 yesterday. They are expected to launch the summit bid, tonight.

K2 was Miguel Ángel Pérez’s ninth eight-thousander after Gasherbrum II (2004), Nanga Parbat (2005), Everest (2006), Cho Oyu (2007), Broad Peak (2008), Manaslu (2010), Lhotse (2011) and Dhaulagiri (2012 ).

"Not just a good climber has disappeared, but above all a special person. A loyal, honest, hardworking man who took time ... where he had almost no time to devote to his passion: mountaineering and especially the Himalayas." remarked Dario Rodríguez of Desnivel, a friend of Miguel.

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