Body Found On K2 – Authorities Seeking Help To Identify

Updated: March 17, 2023

Just this week sad news has reached us that the remains of a climber has been found on K2.

Researchers working on the mountain found the body last week but have so far been unsuccessful in identifying the body.

In an attempt to solve the mystery, the team have put out a request to the mountaineering community to help identify the fallen climber.

Researchers Michele Cucchi and Paolo Petrignani were working alongside Pakistani guides on K2 in order to assess the current state of the fragile glaciers in the region and the impact the environment is having upon them.

Once at Base Camp, the team of researchers headed up to Advanced Base Camp to view the damage done by the huge avalanche in July that swept away the tents, bottled oxygen and fixed ropes.

The avalanche essentially ended the 2016 climbing season on the mountain and all teams were forced to turn back without a single summit.


When sifting through the mass of rubble left by the avalanche, researcher Michele Cucchi found several tents, fixed ropes, canisters of bottled oxygen and the remains of a human body.

The body, which was lying under a thin layer of ice, was reportedly wearing a size 8 Millet Boot (pictured above). The boot is supposedly a fairly recent model which led the researchers to conclude that the climber must have been lost quite recently.

However, the team were unable to identify the fallen climber and are asking the climbing community for any more information to ID the body. If anyone reading this does have any information then please contact as soon as possible.

One person has already noted that the Millet boot in question is actually an older version of the new boot and the fallen climber could have potentially died several years ago.

Another person has pointed to an article posted 8 years ago in which Rolf Bae (part of the 2008 disaster on K2) is pictured wearing very similar boots – see here. However, it will come down to experts to analyse if the boot could be the same one from 8 years ago or whether the one found is a more modern edition.

As is tradition on K2, the body was taken to the Gilkey Memorial to be laid to rest. All fallen climbers have been buried here since 1953. We can only hope now that some new information comes to light so that the unidentified climber can be mourned properly.

About the author 

Burnham Arlidge

Burnham started his career as a professional tennis player before retiring due to injury. Since then Burnham has thrown himself into adventure travel. He is an expert on polar travel, having visited Antarctica, Patagonia and the Arctic multiple times. He has also hiked some of the most iconic and obscure trails across the planet, including in India, Bhutan and Nepal!

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  1. Please excuse my ignorance re mountaineering- but why arent all climbers required to have ID on them? I dont necessarily mean wearing dog tags or carrying plastic cards – but even just small fabric name labels sewn into their clothing and boots.

    1. Hi Blue, usually mountaineers do carry some form of identification with them , but unfortunately what happens sometimes is that a body is not found or recovered for many years in which time decomposition and deterioration of clothing etc. make identification very difficult.

    2. One of the problems on K2 is that unlike Everest, most deaths are caused by falls. Either missteps on terrible slopes or the climber is brushed off the slope by rockfall, or avalanche or crushed by cerac.
      The falls are typically very long, multiple cliff strikes strip the body, and, I'm afraid, often cause it to disintegrate on the way down. More often than not it is naked body parts that are found, not whole bodies. Obviously, boots are the least likely to be ripped off.

  2. There is a photo of Rolf Bae's wife with fellow climber Lars wearing these exact same boots on the summit of K2. It is very possible it is Rolf. So sad…

    1. Was Rich lost on K2? I remember Rich very well, but I thought it was another mountain, not K2. Long time ago, so my memory may be faulty.

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