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Extreme skier Fredrik Ericsson falls to his death scaling K2

August 8, 2010 |  8:07 am

Fredrik Ericsson on K2.

Fredrik Ericsson, one of the world's leading high-altitude skiers, fell to his death Friday while attempting to scale and then ski from the 28,251-foot summit of K2. Ericsson was 35.

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, a fellow climber who was with Ericsson when he fell, said in a post on Ericsson's website that "Fredrik was fixing rope to the rock in the bottle neck above ... when he lost purchase and was unable to arrest his fall. This happened some time between 7 and 8 a.m. Later it was determined he fell about 1000m [3,280 feet] and did not survive."

Featured in a June Outposts item, extreme skier Ericsson was on a quest to ski down the three highest peaks on the planet -- K2, on the border between China and Pakistan; the Himalayan peak of Kangchenjunga; and Mt. Everest, on the border of Nepal and Tibet. 

"The project spans two years and I will try to ski the three highest mountains in the world: K2 this summer, Mt. Everest in Autumn, 2010, and Kangchenjunga in Autumn, 2011," Ericsson said in a press release.

Ericsson had successfully completed summit descents from some of the highest mountains, including Peak Somoni, in Tajikstan; Shisha Pangma in Tibet; and Gasherbrum 2, on the border of China and Pakistan.

Ericsson's friend, David Schipper, concluded the latest post on Ericsson's site with the following:

"It is almost impossible to get the facts straight in these situations as each version is a blend of facts and perspective. It is also difficult to understand the situation without being there. I give my most sincere condolences to Frippe's parents, family and friends. I have no words to express my sorrow. This information in an effort to help you understand the details -- though they can only tell part of the story. Everyone I have had contact with, both on K2 and off, said he was liked by everyone at base camp, that he brought a positive atmosphere everywhere he went.

"You will be missed, Fredrik by all of us fortunate enough to have known you. I will remember you with the memory of beautiful Chogolisa in the background."

-- Kelly Burgess


Photo: Fredrik Ericsson. Credit: FredrikEricsson.com


Extreme skier Fredrik Ericsson attempting to summit and ski K2; first leg of his quest to ski world's three highest mountains