Kim HongBin Dies on Broad Peak

Kim HongBin some days ago in Pakistan. Photo: Alpine Adventure Guides

The disabled Korean, who lost all his fingers on Denali 30 years ago, had just summited his last of 14 8,000m peaks.

Kim HongBin has died in a fall while descending from Broad Peak, according to ski mountaineer Anton Pugovkin, who is also on the mountain.

Apparently, the 57-year-old Kim slid or fell 15m into a crevasse while descending from Camp 4, where his team spent the night after summiting yesterday.

Pugovkin and Vitaly Lazo abandoned their attempt to reach the summit late yesterday, as the weather worsened. The Russians are attempting what they call the Deathzone Freeride project, skiing down all the 8,000m peaks. While in Camp 3, they answered two rescue calls.

The first SOS came over the radio at midnight when they were sleeping. Anastasia Runova of Russia fell while descending in the night, but escaped without serious injury. Her fellow Russians ran to help her down to Camp 3. At last report, a group of people was accompanying her further down the mountain.

Anastasia Runova. Photo. Saulius Damulevicius

The second SOS came at 3 pm local time today. According to Pugovkin, the team climbing with Kim reached Camp 3 and reported that Kim had fallen and he could not be found. Vitaly Lazo took an oxygen mask and ran up to help the Koreans with the search at 7,900m.

After several hours of effort, Lazo’s home team posted the following:

Screenshot from Pugovnik’s IG Stories. Shared by @KrisAnnapurna

Now, concerns turn to Vitaly Lazo himself and all the climbers with him who may still be high on the mountain. it is already dark, and weather forecasts are bad.

Ironically, Kim HongBin became the 44th 14×8,000m summiter yesterday by topping out on Broad Peak. Kim was the first disabled climber to achieve the goal.

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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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Jacques Aase
Jacques Aase
2 months ago

I’m not sure if he can be considered the first disabled person to have climbed all the 14 as he didn’t make it down alive. Definitions might have changed since my climbing days a few decades ago but you had to make it down for it to be considered a successful climb.

+5
Marie
Marie
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacques Aase

Oh my God, this is really the most inappropriate comment that I have read in decades. May he rest in peace.

+21
Jacques Aase
Jacques Aase
2 months ago
Reply to  Marie

So you’re not a mountaineer then I guess. For us, it is one of the risks we take, the choices we make. Sad, sure, but claims should not be made if they are inaccurate. Sorry if you were offended, Marie. Not really, actually.

+5
Kate Morgan
Kate Morgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacques Aase

Such a disgusting and disgraceful comment to see.

0
antonio
antonio
2 months ago
Reply to  Marie

and since when it is inappropiate to tell the truth!!

+3
Lenore Jones
Lenore Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacques Aase

I wondered that, too, but as Marie says, this is not the time.

He had such a happy look to him. I am grateful that other climbers did their best to save him. I hope they all get down safely.

+8
Max Madera
Max Madera
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacques Aase

This is not true and has never been true. You can check any list of successful summitteers. There are very famous alpinists that died descending and nobody has ever tried to cross out the last summit from their résumé. It is probably out of respect. In fact, people were trying to guess whether Mallory had reached the Everest summit to properly credit him as the first man on Everest.

+6
Jacques Aase
Jacques Aase
2 months ago
Reply to  Max Madera

With all due respect, I do believe you’re wrong, Max. And the records used to normally so reflect with an asterisk. The whole Irvine/Mallory thing was the mystery rather than to credit them with the first ascent until quite recently.

+1
Jacques Aase
Jacques Aase
2 months ago
Reply to  Max Madera

Max, in fact, you are wrong. Go to the Himalayan Database. Look at the 2016 Spring Season on Everest. Then search for Eric Arnold, an acquaintance of mine. He died on the way down from the summit. You will not find him listed in the official list of summiteers. I don’t know which lists of summiteers you rely on, but I only rely on that which was started by Liz Hawley as that is the standard.

+3
Jacques Aase
Jacques Aase
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacques Aase

My apologies. You are right and I stand corrected.

+1
Jacques Aase
Jacques Aase
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacques Aase

I am wrong here. Standards seem to have changed.

0
Don Paul
Don Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacques Aase

Death cult mentality.

+1
damiengildea
Editor
2 months ago
Reply to  Jacques Aase

That was never the case. Dying on descent having summited does not cancel the simple fact that you summited. A few decades ago, you say? Al Rouse and Julie Tullis are not denied their summits of K2 in 1986, for example.

You may choose to define ‘success’ in other, broader terms, but for the purposes of record-keeping in mountaineering, reaching the summit is success.

+2
Twinkletoes
Twinkletoes
2 months ago
Reply to  damiengildea

Having stood on a given proeminence does not cancel the simple fact that you’re dead.

+1
jihye nam
jihye nam
2 months ago

It is known that he is missing, not dead, and the Korean people are praying for Captain Kim Hong-bin to return safely…

+4
Shama
Shama
1 month ago

Love to see ur discussions ..i dont have much knowledge about mountaineering but after ali sadpara death i use to learn abt it

0
RAJESH GHALE
1 month ago

great climber

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