Kim HongBin Dies on Broad Peak

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.