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Editor's Note: Tommy Heinrich was to report on his attempt on K2 this summer, but the tragic death of his companion in an accident has resulted in his attempting Broad Peak instead.

Romanian Climber Killed
Mihai Cioroiano Buried at Base Camp

Tuesday, July 13, 1999

The walk from Broad Peak to K2 Base Camp only took one hour, and as we marched, it was confirmed that one of the members on my team had died somewhere low on the mountain.

The Abruzzi Ridge
As I walked to Base Camp and passed the first group of tents, the Korean team Liasion Officer asked me where I was going. I will climb the mountain with Manuel Lugli, I replied. But then I learned Manuel is not climbing anymore, which finally confirmed all doubts.

Five minutes later I was surprised by National Geographic TV cameras being pointed at me, and Jay Sieger from the US greeting me, who I did not know until then.

I walked towards Manuel Lugli, Oskar Paizza, and Angelo Giovanetti from Italy who I came to climb K2 with, and could see a mixed look of sorrow on their faces. Romanian climber, Mihai Cioroiano, had been buried only hours ago near Base Camp.

"While he was climbing from Advance Base to Camp I at 6,100 meters, a rock fell from above and hit him on the shoulders..."

While he was climbing from Advanced Base to Camp I at 6,100 meters, a rock fell from above and hit him on the shoulders. He could call for help on the radio, and Jay Sieger who was minutes behind him rushed to his assistance. The three Italians, by then at Base Camp got to the scene in three fast hours, but Mihai was already dead, probably due to an internal bleeding and broken shoulder. He was 31-years-old, married and with a two-year-old son. This happened on the morning of the 11th.

Tommy Heinrich, Correspondent

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