Last Friday morning in Pakistan, Swedish mountaineer and professional skier Fredrik “Frippe” Ericsson fell to his death while attempting to summit K2, the world’s second tallest peak. Ericsson, age 35, was attempting to become the first man to ski from the summit to base camp. Ericsson was climbing above camp four (8000 meters, the final push before the summit), near the crux of the climb called the Bottleneck, when he slipped and fell over 3,000 feet.
K2, the world’s second highest mountain at 28,253-foot, was part of Ericsson’s larger goal to ski the world’s three tallest peaks, Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga. K2 was the first of the three, and this was his second attempt at skiing down the mountain. During his first ski attempt last June, he lost his climbing partner Michele Fait to the “savage mountain.”
Reports state that Ericsson had been acclimatizing on Pakistan’s K2 for weeks, and had been waiting for a new weather window to make his second summit attempt of the trip. The Austrian news agency APA reports that Ericsson was climbing with female climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner when he slipped and fell over 3,000 feet off a steep cliff. Kaltenbrunner, who is trying to become the first woman to climb all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without oxygen, immediately retreated down the mountain to safety.