A leading Spanish climber has died in a tragic fall during a historic expedition which helped 10 Nepalese climbers be the first to reach the summit of K2 in winter.
Sergi Mingote, 49, fell and died while he was descending from Camp 1 to Base Camp at around 6,000 metres on K2 on Saturday 16th January.
The mountain is the second-highest in the world and is located in the Karakoram mountain range on the China-Pakistan border. It had been the only mountain above 8,000 metres (26,246 feet) that had not been climbed in winter due to its technical difficulty.
His death is reported to have occurred on the same day his team Seven Summit Treks made the historic announcement that 10 Nepalese climbers were the first to make it to the 28,251-foot summit in the wintertime.
Local media said Mingote spent the night at Camp 1 and suffered his fatal fall while descending to Base Camp and without the aid of supplemental oxygen.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez issued a statement saying: “Sad passing of Sergi Mingote on K2. “He wanted to keep making history, forming part of the first expedition to climb this mountain in winter, and a tragic accident has ended his life. A big hug to the loved ones of this great athlete.”
The Spanish mountaineer was well-known for being one of the few experts to climb the tallest mountains in the world and had ambitious plans to climb all 14 mountains above 26,246 feet in under 1,000 days in a plan called 14×1000 Catalonia Project.
He was mayor of the Catalan village of Parets del Vallès for the PSOE from 2011 to 2018, when he resigned to focus on mountaineering