Michelle Fait Died Skiing K2
Sad news for the ski mountaineering community this week. Michele Fait fell to his death while attempting to ski K2, the world's 2nd highest and arguably most difficult peak. Fait was on an expedition with ski partner Fredrik Ericsson, both set on an objective of being the first to ski K2.
There are 4 expeditions here – total of 18 climbers – Japanese, German, Swedish/Italian and us. The Swedish/Italian pair had already pushed up to Camp 2 yesterday. Camp 2 is vertically above the base of the route situated at about 6700m. Swedish extreme skier Fredrik Ericsson and Italian Michele Fait were attempting to be the first to ski down K2. This morning, the weather was perfect – which was of no benefit to Fait. On the descent, the worst scenario possible happened - Fiat plummeted. Ericsson was skiing lower down the slopes and after he had seen Fiat fall, began to haul upwards to get to him. At Base Camp we watched, unsure if the fall had been fatal or not. We started to construct a make-do stretcher and prepare to assist with the rescue effort. Our leader Fabrizio headed out back up the middle of the glacier and we watched as Ericsson and Fabrizio reached Fait’s limp body 20 minutes later and began to lower him down to the base of the route. The slopes are avalanche prone and as the pair descended, Fabrizio then approached them from below. There is no way to safely recover Fait’s body today…he is secured on the slope. Fabrizio and Ericsson descended to base camp and we will attempt to recover his body tomorrow at first light.
He later updated that Fait's body had been recovered and buried.
Best wishes and positive thoughts to Fait's friends, family, his ski partner Ericsson, and everyone in the ski community who might have had the chance to ski with or meet Michele. We haven't met him personally, but he was clearly a passionate ski mountaineer taking skiing to the utmost limit. And on the eve of a 10 day ski mountaineering trip, it's a friendly reminder to respect the mountains and play safe.
Michele's ski partner Frederik Ericsson, earlier in the expedition.