During his attempt to summit and ski K2, the world’s second tallest mountain, 31-year-old mountaineer, Swedish ski mountaineer Fredrik Ericsson was killed around 7:30 a.m. Pakistani time on Friday, August 6.
Ericsson has been killed a year after his first attempt was curtailed by the death of his partner on the trip, Italian Michele Fait, who fell to his death while skiing down from K2's C2 on the SSE spur.Ericsson, Cook, and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner left Camp 4 around 1:30 a.m. to begin their journey to the summit of K2. Around 5:30 a.m. Cook decided to turn back, leaving Ericsson and Austrian alpinist Kaltenbrunner to attempt the summit by themselves. According to Kaltenbrunner, Ericsson was fixing rope to a rock and lost his footing between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. He was unable to stop his fall, and it was later confirmed that he fell around 3,281 feet, and did not survive.
His K2 summit was part of his dream of becoming the first person to ski the world’s three highest mountains: Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga. Swedish-born and now Chamonix-based Ericsson is one of the world’s leading high altitude skiers with ski descents of some of the highest mountains on earth, including Peak Somoni, Shisha Pangma, Gasherbrum 2, Laila Peak and Dhaulagiri. "I have already skied on five mountains higher than 8000 meters. During these adventures I gained critical experience that will apply towards my goal of skiing the absolute highest. The project spans two years and I will try to ski the three highest mountains in the world: K2 (8612m) this summer, Mount Everest (8850m) in autumn 2010, and Kangchenjunga (8586m) in autumn 2011", said Fredrik. At the request of his parents Ericsson’s body will be left resting in the mountain.
Video: Extreme skiers Fredrik Ericsson and Jörgen Aamot attempting to ski the world's 3rd highest mountain, Kangchenjunga (8586m) in Nepal, 2008. The sequence is from the Swedish ski movie Free Radicals 618.