Interview with mountaineer Willi Steindl, who witnessed over 70 people stepping over Muhammed Hassan as he lay dying in the Death Zone on K2.
The death of Mohammad Hassan on K2 has sent shockwaves through the mountaineering community. At 2:15Am on July 27 the Pakistani porter fell near the bottleneck at 8200 meters, found hanging upside down more than 5 meters below the path.
Hassan was a porter with no climbing experience, having risked his life to earn the higher wages paid to high altitude porters, in order to support a sick mother and a family… He was woefully outfitted, lacking a down suit, or proper climbing equipment.
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So but they didn't air as well. So they went up, he was alive. They went up to the summit, they came down he was dead. Nobody cared. That was actually the bad thing in my opinion.Thom Pollard:
Today I bring you into the 2023 tragedy on K two about the loss of an inexperienced high altitude Porter named Mohamed haason. Have an interview with a climber who witnessed dozens of people stepping over Halston as he lay mortally injured at at 200 meters. Willie Steindl was climbing with furtenbach Adventures, one of several teams that turned around during their summit bid after witnessing avalanches up high, they determined that conditions were far too dangerous. And while the team weighed their decision on turning around Steindl as cameraman Phillip Fleming filmed by the use of his drone, it revealed over 70 people climbing over Muhammad haason As he lay dying, nobody rendered aid there was no rescue attempted, and by the time the climbers returned from their summit bids and their successful summits, Hodgson's lifeless body was there before my interview with Willie Steindl. I'm going to give you some background on this story, which reveals the gaping chasm between commercial Mountaineers and peak baggers of today, versus the old school climbers of earlier generations, who claimed as a team would do anything to save the life of a team member. So here's the story on July 26, about 150 people were in camp three, waiting for their chance to get to the top of the mountain. A storm had been predicted to arrive a couple of days later, but it did not ever really arrive. In their minds. The climbers had only a brief window to Summit, it was now or never to get to the top. Hodgson had been assigned to work with the rope fixing team who were essentially blazing a trail with all the other summit teams following behind them, as they fixed the lines at about2:
15am On the morning of July 27. At about 8200 meters haason fell, he was clipped into the fixed lines. It was an extremely steep section of the mountain directly under a gigantic wall of ice. This is a section where people want to move as quickly as possible, because one chunk of ice falling down would certainly kill any climber that was underneath it. haason fell he was dangling about 15 feet below the fixed lines are five meters below the lines upside down tangled into the ropes. People said that his stomach was exposed because he didn't have a down suit. So he was struggling certainly and immobilized because of being tangled and hanging upside down. first on the scene was Kristin Harleigh, the Norwegian climber and her climbing partner and guide tension llama Sherpa, they rendered aid to haason tried to bring him up to the fixed lines. They were with him for well over an hour perhaps up to two hours, giving him comfort. When they were assured that a rescue was coming. They felt it was okay to continue onward toward the summit, which they did. Their cameraman Gabriel tarso stayed with Halston for over two and a half hours sharing his own dwindling oxygen supply in the hours that would follow over 70 climbers stepped over Muhammad haason As he laid there struggling, it is reported that Halston was literally reaching out and trying to grab people who were stepping over him. Obviously, he was in immense distress, hoping for someone or some people to rescue him, or provide him with more oxygen. Now, it's unclear if anybody could have actually saved his life at such extreme altitudes. And perhaps climbers passing by were of the understanding that Hodgson was being helped and that a rescue was on the way. Now, we have to remember that many of these climbers are paying clients who have very little experience in helping themselves let alone arranging a rescue where they could move a body in such steep and dangerous conditions. I'm not saying that's an excuse, necessarily, but many of these people might have been under that assumption that others were there or arriving soon to help awesome but the fact is, nobody attempted a rescue of Mohammed haason. He can be seen in the footage that he's being comforted by a single individual, but you can see people literally stepping over him. This tragic story is brought primarily to light because of drone footage that was being filmed that day by a cameraman Philip Fleming, who was working with Willie Steindl, an Austrian climber, they saw the traffic jam up high. And also notice that there was some avalanches sweeping down the mountain, their team made the very difficult decision to turn around and not go for the summit. In that time that they were making that decision. Philip Fleming raised up his drone, and film for well over an hour. It was only after that, that Steindl and Fleming reviewed the drone footage, where they saw that Hodgson was still alive. And dozens of people were stepping over him on their way to the summit. Here's my conversation with Willie Steindl. So Willie, tell me about que tu, can you just kind of walk me through what your experience was that morning or that evening when you left to goWilli Steindl:
Yes, for sure. It was like, we started at think, for the summit? half past 11. We started for some push from chem free to Summit. And I arrived at half past two in the morning on 27th of July. Yeah, below the bottleneck. And in our expedition, we were talking about waiting two together below bottleneck because we wanted to see the situation because we knew the conditions are really difficult this year. We knew there is a lot of snow. So we wanted to see together how the other conditions are. And then we wanted to go further on approximately eight one to a two. Below bottleneck. We wanted to go further because we saw a long line going up to the summit. And we saw, okay, the people are walking. So it's actually quite good. We have to we can do it the stay. And suddenly there was the avalanche there was a avalanche going down next to the bottleneck. And it nearly hit a lot of people. So it was like five meter next to the people's line. And at this point, a lot of climbers turn around or actually all Western expedition turned around at this point because they also realized it's too dangerous. And also we decided to turn around. And on our way down at 8000 thousand, my cameraman Philip Lim, he decided to make some drone shots, because we were filming for Austrian TV documentation. And so he was flying for one and a half hours with his drone. But he was not able to see anything because the screen on the remote control is really small. And you couldn't see anything on a remote control. It's just still points, we went down the whole mountain and on the next day in Basecamp. We just wanted to see those drone shots because we were curious about how the film will be and stuff like this. Suddenly, we saw Yeah, we saw this guy still moving. You saw his friend and cousin was or his cousin he was on he was like rubbing him that it doesn't lose any warm. And you could see all those people stepping over him and heading to the summit. And actually, actually in this situation, you have to start the rescue mission at this point. So you need to bring it down as fast as possible, because otherwise, there's no change to chance to save his life. It's not possible. You cannot think I will give him oxygen and warm water or something like that. And just even dare, no, you just need to bring him down at this moment. And he was still living. So we were really shocked because of those pictures that nobody started to bring him down. And it's easy. It's not easy, but it's possible to bring down the situation. So actually, that was the thing why we were so shocked in this moment.Thom Pollard:
So how many people do you estimate might have stepped over? A hot sun while he was still alive?Willi Steindl:
Yeah, you can see it on the drone footage. It's there. It's a little bit more than 70. It's like 73 people were like often Yeah. So and he was he was with the fix rock team. So he was in the front, you know, maybe there were five or six people in front of him. And afterwards he wasn't then there was the Whole life and be counted seven to free people. Oh, Pastor, some it'sThom Pollard:
an experience of watching that footage go can't happen without it changing you or without it making you look at the world differently. I don't know. You know, did it? Did it make you lose faith in humanity or? Yeah, I mean, no, no, it's a big question there. ButWilli Steindl:
yeah, actually, there are also other things they, they really were bad in my opinion. So, you know, people were celebrating in the base camp, they were having a party that didn't even talk or think about the situation. We were like, we were like asking on the climbers, if they realized what's happening there. And they actually didn't give a shit on the situation. And now, now you read now they want to defend herself and say, Yeah, we couldn't do anything. And we did everything we could do. And but yes, you just can see that nobody started the rescue attempt. And that's the only thing how you can help them. So what would they ask? How can you help this guy? It's not possible. It's not possible to help him with this situation. If you don't bring him down. And they didn't do it. That's it. So but they didn't care as well. So they went up, he was alive. They went up to the summit, they came down, he was dead. Nobody cared. Yeah, that was actually the bad thing. In my opinion.Thom Pollard:
Willie, you were so moved that you went and visited his family? Can you tell us real briefly about that, and what that experience was like for you?Willi Steindl:
Yeah, it was really tough for me, because I need to explain you the situation it was like we were, when you go from K2 back to Askole. It's like, four days. On the first day, we met a guy who is friend of the metal son, and this guy, he Pakistani, he's also from the same village. And he told us that the situation is really bad for the because there are three children, with small children and the wife. She is very poor and illiterate to say you literally didn't have any education. And she is not possible to do any work because it's allowed for women to work in those cultures. And also told us that mother of Muhammad Hass, she has diabetes, strong victors, they can't afford medicine, they cannot afford even education for the children, that the situation is really bad. In my opinion, Western people did not do enough or did not do anything to save the life of this guy. And at least I wanted to show them that Western people are possible to help in this bad situation. So yeah, we decided to go there and try to help them. Yeah, it was even worse than we could think about. So they were in a really poor, ration really poor. It was really shocking. For me, I've never seen people living in those conditions. And so we tried to help I had some cash money with me, I've gave them everything. Yes, he was telling us that it was the first time for his or her husband to powder because he wanted to save some money to earn more money and save some money for the education for the children. And he wanted to give the children a better life in with better conditions. And that was the reason why I wanted to do risky work up to a two I told them, I will go start a fundraise for them and I try everything to help them to show our responsibility and responsibility. Because nobody helped Hassan up there, we want to try to have to knowThom Pollard:
Willie Steindl has started a GoFundMe page to help the family of Mohammed haason. The link to the GoFundMe page will be in the notes of this video. If you enjoyed this video, I hope you take a moment to subscribe to the channel and consider supporting me on Patreon or becoming a member of this channel. I'll put the link in the description of all the articles and videos that I utilize throughout this video. One thing that I wanted to share with you is I will be doing an interview with Angela benna V days of explorers web who has been working diligently on a comprehensive article to explain everything that took place during the summit bid on que tu when Muhammad Halston had lost his life. I will be interviewing her during this week and I will be bringing that story to you as soon as possible. Thanks for being here. I appreciate you for watching. Do a good deed don't look for anything in return make the world a better place one act at a time. Thanks for being here. Peace out my friends.