Final dispatch for father and son climbing team


A final dispatch for Marty Schmidt, killed in an avalanche on K2 mountain alongside his son Denali, has been posted online.

The 53-year-old former Hastings man and his son Denali, 25, were reported missing on the mountain in the Karakoram Range which spanned Pakistan, India and China.

The pair were hoping to become the first father and son team to conquer the summit of K2. The dispatch, posted online by a friend of Marty's at Macpac stated "news started to trickle through" about the two being missing on the mountain but "with all his experience and skills the rumours simply couldn't be true".

"But eventually I managed to talk to Chris Warner at K2 BC and he confirmed that on the 26th of July Marty and Denali decided to climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3, while the other climbers on the mountain opted to abandon their attempts and return to BC. Chris was in contact with Marty and Denali before nightfall, but couldn't establish contact on the 27th."

One of two sherpa climbers, who had gone out to look for the two of them, found camp three and discovered the camp had been hit by a large avalanche.

"He found crampons and ice axes belonging to Marty and Denali, indicating that they probably weren't climbing when the avalanche struck."

The dispatch said there would be no further search parties going up and the conditions were too dangerous and all activity on K2 had been suspended.

"We all know that mountaineering comes with risks, especially at high altitude, but somehow Marty seemed 'invincible'. Everybody he climbed with praised his decision making skills, his dedication to safety and his ability to enthuse and inspire those around him.

"Whenever Marty walked into the office here at Macpac, there was energy in the air.

"He loved talking gear and discussing potential improvements, and he couldn't stop telling us how cool the kit was that we gave him.

"He loved sharing his past and upcoming adventures with us."

 

- Hawkes Bay Today

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