Saddest News from K2: Sergi Mingote Dies in Fall

K2 Winter 8000ers
Sergi Mingote always smiled in pictures. Photo: Sergi Mingote/ONAT Foundation

Sergi Mingote has died from injuries sustained in a long fall somewhere below Camp 1, according to Seven Summit Treks leader Dawa Sherpa. His tracker shows a fall of nearly 600m.

Alex Gavan, Tamara Lunger, Magdalena Gorzkowska, and Oswaldo Oliveira tried to help him and asked for medical assistance, but nothing could be done to save his life. Juan Pablo Mohr, who was some distance behind, also ran to help, but it took him 40 minutes to reach the accident scene.

L/R: Tamara Lunger, JP Mohr and Sergi Mingote, happy in C1 three days ago. Photo: S. Mingote

Sergi Mingote was not even intending to climb K2 in winter. His big project was to summit all the 8,000’ers without O2. When the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed his plans to complete the challenge within 1,000 days, he didn’t give up.

“No problem,” he said, “there’s plenty of time to return to climbing and complete the quest faster than the previous record [seven years and eleven months, set by Jerzy Kukuzcka].”

During the lockdown, he trained every day, even lost weight. As soon as he was allowed out, he set off on a cycling and climbing trip, jumping from one significant peak to another across Europe. It was fun, it was a good training, but it was not the same as the Himalaya that he longed for so much.

He tried to get a permit in Pakistan for the end of summer, hoping to explore some off-the-beaten track areas and to distribute winter gear and clothes to isolated  villages.

In the fall, he remained locked down again at his home in Catalonia. And then, out of the blue, Dawa Sherpa called to offer him the chance to participate in something completely unprecedented: a large, outfitted expedition to K2. Mingote accepted, but insisted on using no supplementary oxygen.

Through the days, he kept the spirits up, his fitness was excellent, and his reports from the mountain were complete, honest, and highly interesting. He carried up his own gear and left depots. Yesterday, he was elated to have completed his acclimatization round with a night in Camp 3, with Juan Pablo Mohr as his climbing partner.

They had the acclimatization they needed, their equipment in place — they just needed another window to go up again, this time to the summit. It was only mid-January, there was still plenty of time.

Today… It’s another broken life, another story that ends far too soon. He was a well-focused, honest, and sensible climber. He was to achieve great goals in the Himalaya. He was a father and a husband. He was a friend. I will miss him. We all will.

Update: Tamara Lunger later posted a video on Instagram of her, Alex Gavan, and Sergi Mingote (on the right) dancing joyously on the slopes of K2, not many hours before Mingote’s fatal accident. “This video makes me cry so much,” she wrote. “Not only all of us have lost a great and strong mountaineer, but I had found and so soon lost a wonderful friend, with a big heart so positive, happy and full of love for the mountains, others, and life.”

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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With_or_Without_02
With_or_Without_02
1 month ago

Angela (veteran climbing journalist), your article from 10/21 mentioned that “he[Sergi] noticed that Seven Summit Treks’ Dawa Sherpa was organizing an expedition to Winter K2 this December. He contacted Dawa Sherpa, and somehow, the discussion developed into a suggestion that Mingote co-lead the expedition.” But in this article you mention that “In the fall, he remained locked down again at his home in Catalonia. And then, out of the blue, Dawa Sherpa called to offer him the chance to participate in something completely unprecedented: a large, outfitted expedition to K2. Mingote accepted, but insisted on using no supplementary oxygen.” Your… Read more »

photon
photon
1 month ago

That is definitely the most important thing in this article… ffs

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Why?
Why?
1 month ago

What’s your problem mate? You come across like a troll

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Mark
Mark
1 month ago

Why even make such a pointless comment at such a time? What an absolute bell end

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Jeff S
Jeff S
1 month ago

If this is all that comes thought your mind after reading the article the best you could do is to stay silent, extremely inappropriate and disrespectful. Condolences to Sergi’s family and friends. His daily reports were excellent, and delighted many enthusiasts being able to keep up with the expeditions on the mountain. Hope that Nims, Migma & Co make it safely to BC asap given the weather will be degrading rapidly.

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Don Paul
Don Paul
1 month ago

It sounds like a police officer question, but it’s a point to be discussed. Sergi Mingote sounded like a great guy but there is no comparison between the team that just summitted, and the clients whose plan is still, presumably, to climb up the fixed lines. Do they belong there? I don’t know, but their skills and experience are at a much different level. IMO the climb is done, no need for more people to try to climb K2 in winter. You’re not first. No one really needs to ever do this again, unless somebody from Pakistan feels they have… Read more »

F v
F v
1 month ago
Reply to  Don Paul

Not necessary, SST have clients who can summit after the rope fixers did their “job” as they did today.(“job” i mean exceptional performance) When weather alows ofcourse. This week zero opportunity, after thursday and friday probably all camps and tents will be destroyed again by hurricane winds. Remains February, but who knows what decision they make, also after the tragedy with Sergi. Maybe the Elite guys go for Broad peak, one member earlier suggested. Could be a reason climbers stayed, but time will tell.

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Craig Quigley
Craig Quigley
1 month ago

Firstly, and upmost RIP Sergi.

Scoring points on this post shows people up for what they are. Disgusted and ashamed.

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Deborah A Boone
Deborah A Boone
1 month ago

I am so sorry that he has died. I’m not a climber but I follow it. My condolences to his family and friends. He was a wonderful person.

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Mick
Mick
1 month ago

My thoughts with Dear Sergi his little family and you Angela. I was with Sergi in summer 2019 for G I&II.
We had time then to get to know a little each other and understood a common connection (msf).
It’s devastating. Bon courage.

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Wes
Wes
1 month ago

Shocked shocked shocked this is so sad and will always diminish the noteable achievement of winter summit that also occured. Will pray for his family and frieds that God will hold them up at thiss time.

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Don Paul
Don Paul
1 month ago

I thought they were on fixed lines all the time. How did he get unclipped?

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Selina
Selina
1 month ago
Reply to  Don Paul

I’m wondering the same and nobody replies 🙁

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Gary
Gary
1 month ago

Very sad! Heartfelt condolences to his family and all that knew him.

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Craig Quigley
Craig Quigley
1 month ago

Are you for real? I’m all for free speech, but the admins need to start banning people like this guy, and the with 02 no 02 crank , also that Francis guy. The mind boggles at their ridiculous, aggressive and insensitive posts

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Kim Brown
Kim Brown
1 month ago

Is there a sworn secreticy to climbers? Obviously alot of followers want to know what happen? With soo much experience and admired by so many. So sorry for the family, he perished doing what he loved. I hope everyone makes it down safe! Gods speed Sergi!

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Bibijoon
Bibijoon
22 days ago

One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest ….that’s called K2.Angel Of Death awaits morons

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