Talked with Jon this morning. The situation up there is being compared to the 1996 Tragedy Jon Krakauer wrote about in his book,
Into Thin Air. Jon confirmed 5 deaths and some folks still missing. Jon saw four of the bodies near the summit but below the balcony. The 1996 disaster claimed 8 lives during the main summit window when bad weather moved in.
Jon said there was a 2 hour wait at one of the main chokepoints near the summit. High winds moved in an trapped folks who were ascending and descending. Some folks had already been climbing for 18-hours or more. The climbers Jon assisted were disoriented, frostbitten, sick, and totally exhausted. But the priorities were as follows:
#1 Save yourself, #2 Attend to your teammates, and #3 Assist any climbers that could be saved. 2 of the four frozen climbers appeared dead up there, and so Jon decided to descend. One of Jon’s Teammates David O’Brien was assisting with trying to help up to four of the Climbers. Jon Helped him save one of the Polish Climbers, but otherwise ontinued to help his own teammates Sandra, Urs, and Erik.
Jon is now back at Basecamp recovering. He said, “Dont’ count me out just yet for a return up the mountain to catch the weather window May 25-26.”
Please direct media requests to meteorologist Chris Tomer at KDVR/KWGN-TV. [email protected]
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