K2 Update – August 6

Early this morning I was woken by a call from Trey’s girlfriend. ‘Frippe was killed…’

The bottom of my world fell out. Facts and information are impossibly inaccurate at this altitude so I got started making my way through the grim channels to find out where the truth was. With the help of Field Touring Alpine and my friend and guide Fabrizio Zangrilli I was able to get most of the story straight.

Some of what he reported was first hand knowledge while at camp 4 and part was from his conversation with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner who was with Fredrik when he fell.

At about 1:30 AM Trey, Gerlinde and Fredrik left camp 4 at about 8000m to move to the summit. The weather was less than the good forecast but it was also supposed to improve during the upcoming day. Fabrizio and a few other climbers elected to remain in camp 4 to see what happened with the weather.

Several hours later, as the three climbers reached the base of the bottle neck, Trey decided to return to camp 4. He arrived back at about 5:30 AM in low visibility and high winds.

According to the conversation Fabrizio had with Gerlinde, Fredrik was fixing rope to the rock in the bottle neck above her when he lost purchase and was unable to arrest his fall. This happened some time between 7 and 8 AM. Later it was determined he fell about 1000m and did not survive.

Weather was said to become more challenging as time passed and Gerlinde’s safe return to camp 4 was aided by climbers that had stayed at camp 4.

By evening of that same day the remaining climbers made their way back to camp 3 at 7000m. All the tents left at 3 were ‘thoroughly ruined’ by rock fall and ruck sacks were needed as shields from the constant rain of rocks. Gerlinde reportedly continued down to camp 2 at about 6400m. All will make their way to base camp tomorrow with the hopes the colder night temperatures will reduce rock fall. They will be safe when they are at basecamp.

It is almost impossible to get the facts straight in these situations as each version is a blend of facts and perspective. It is also difficult to understand the situation without being there. I give my most sincere condolences to Frippe’s parents, family and friends. I have no words to express my sorrow. This information in an effort to help you understand the details – though they can only tell part of the story. Everyone I have had contact with, both on K2 and off, said he was liked by everyone at base camp, that he brought a positive atmosphere everywhere he went.

You will be missed, Fredrik by all of us fortunate enough to have known you. I will remember you with the memory of beautiful Chogolisa in the background.

Frippe’s body is resting at about 7000m. It seems like retrieval would be exceptionally dangerous.

Additional information can be seen on Gerlinde’s site http://www.gerlinde-kaltenbrunner.at .

David Schipper

Chogolisa from 7000m on Cesan


11 responses to “K2 Update – August 6

  1. Trey, very sorry to hear this news, safe return…

  2. Trey, i don’t have the words but all my heart is for you in this terrible situation….i can just imagine your pain….i’m so so sorry for Frippe. i think of you mon ami

  3. Trey, I am so deeply sorry. Come home safely.

  4. Chrystyna Dattilo Garrigan

    Trey, I am so, so sorry and await news of your safe return. I cannot imagine what you must be going through and my heart goes out to you, Gerlinde and of course Frippe’s family. xxtyss

  5. trey, my brother….a sad day in the mountains…i’m sorry you lost your mate….catch some rest and know the world loves you….i’ll talk to you soon, my friend.

  6. Warren Currie

    Trey – I am so sorry. Please come home safely.

  7. My condolences and deepest sympathy go out to the family and friends of Fredrik Ericsson.

  8. Trey, I can’t imagine how you’re feeling, have a safe journey back home. Frippe, an important part of the Chamonix family will be hugely missed.


  9. Malin and Christophe

    Trey, we are so sorry. Come back safely, we are thinking of you.

  10. Patty Armenta Ramey

    Trey, so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you continue your journey home. Be safe, and continue to be strong.

  11. Glad you made it back safe to Chamonix Trey. I am so sorry you all lost such an amazing friend and climber.
    I hope to see you soon, and I just want to offer you any kind of support that I can. hugs! Mads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s