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The best alpinist defends passing the dying Sherpa in pursuit of the K2 record

A top mountaineer has been forced to defend herself after allegations her team climbed over a dying Sherpa on her way to summit of the mountain K2 to achieve a new world record.

Images of climbers climbing past the injured Pakistani on a treacherous ridge on the same day that Norwegian Kristin Harila ascended they have been condemned by fellow climbers.

They claimed that a Western climber would not have been allowed to die and said the scenes would be unthinkable in the Alps, sparking a dispute over how local Sherpas are used in the Himalayas.

Harila, 37, scaled Pakistan’s K2 on July 27, reaching his 14th highest peak in just over three months to become the world’s fastest climber to scale all peaks above 8,000 meters.

During his ascent, the porter Mohammed Hassan fell from a sheer edge at the top of the area known as the bottleneck, at an altitude of about 8,200 meters.

Ms Harila said her team did everything they could to save Mr Hassan, but the conditions were too dangerous to move him.

However, two climbers who were also on K2 that day claimed their fellow mountaineers were more interested in setting records than saving lives, in an apparent dig at Harila.

Wilhelm Steindl and Philip Flämig, an Austrian climbing duo, say drone footage they recorded hours after Harila and his team had scaled the ridge showed climbers walking over his body rather than trying to rescue – him

“Everything is in the drone footage,” Flämig told Austria’s Standard newspaper.

“It is treated by one person while everyone else is pushing to the top. The fact is that there was no organized rescue operation even though there were Sherpas and mountain guides at the site who could have acted.”

Among those who spent it was Ms. Harila.

“Something like that would be unthinkable in the Alps. He was treated like a second-class human being,” Steindl added.

“If he had been a Westerner, he would have been rescued immediately. Nobody felt responsible for him,” he said.

Some trekkers say Pakistani porters are treated as expendable – 8K Expeditions/Lakpa Sherpa

“What happened there is a shame. A live human was left lying around so records could be set,” he said.

Ms Harila defended her actions on Thursday, saying her team did everything they could to save Hassan.

“It’s just not true to say we didn’t do anything to help him. We tried to get him up for an hour and a half and my cameraman stayed another hour to look after him. At no time was he left alone,” he said. tell the Telegraph.

“Given the conditions, it is difficult to see how it could have been saved. He fell in what is probably the most dangerous part of the mountain where the chances of getting someone in were limited by the narrow trail and poor snow conditions,” he said.

He also denied that Mr Hassan would have been treated differently had he been a Western climber.

“We did everything we could for him,” he said.

Reports from several climbers have raised questions about the standard of equipment Mr Hassan had received before climbing the mountain ahead of Western climbers, who often pay thousands of dollars for a guided ascent.

Ms Harila said that when her team found Mr Hassan he was not wearing gloves or a jacket and it appeared that he had not been given oxygen.

“If he was my Sherpa, I wouldn’t have sent him in this condition,” he said.

According to Steindl, who visited the porter’s family after coming down the mountain, Mr. Hassan took on the dangerous job of a rope fixer to pay his diabetic mother’s medical bills, even though he didn’t have the experience to do the job.

“Her family cannot afford medicine or food. Mrs. Harila and many of the climbers flew over us and the family in helicopters. What a symbolic image. The helicopter to fly costs up to $12,000 per person,” he said.

Thaneswar Gurugai, the managing director of Seven Summits which organized Harila’s trek, told the Telegraph that Hassan was suffering from frostbite and hypothermia when he died.

“In normal cases [other porters] I would save them unless it is absolutely impossible to do.”

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