A Pakistan official says the Canadian leader of an international mountaineering expedition has fallen to his death on the country’s K2 mountain, often considered the world’s most difficult to climb.
Karrar Haidri, secretary of Alpine Club of Pakistan, said Saturday that mountaineer Serge Dessureault died early Saturday while attempting to scale the 8,611-meter mountain in northern Pakistan.
Haidri said it wasn’t immediately clear how Dessureault fell.
Dessureault, 54, has since been identified as a firefighter from Montreal.
Dessureault was leading the nine-member “K2-Broad Peak” expedition up the mountain, which is extremely steep and attracts notoriously bad weather.
The Montral man’s passing was confirmed on a Facebook page dedicated to the climb by Dessureault, and his two fellow climbers Maurice Beauséjour and Nathalie Fortin.
“…With indescribable sadness that we announce Serge’s death this morning,” the post reads in French.
The post says he fell from roughly 6,700 metres altitude. His family has been notified.
The trio had posted on Facebook only 10 hours before they were heading up the mountain side with a plan to reach 7,000 metres altitude – where the passage of the Black Pyramid is – before descending back to the base camp.
The Black Pyramid is known to be one of the most dangerous climbs in the world due to its rocky steepness and ice slope that carries on for roughly 400 metres.
“Perhaps they will be tempted to move forward in the very difficult black pyramid before coming down?!,” the post reads. “We keep you informed about the progress of the expedition.”
Haidri confirmed Dessureault’s body was brought to the mountain’s advance base camp and would be transported to Islamabad.
Dessureault death comes just a week after Austrian climber Christian Huber was killed at Ultar Sar Peak when his tent was hit by an avalanche.