Misc 16/01/2021

Sergi Mingote dies after K2 accident

Catalan mountaineer slipped as he descended to the advanced base camp of the mountain

3 min
Sergi Mingote

BarcelonaMountaineer Sergi Mingote died this Saturday at the age of 49 after suffering a fall while descending to the advanced base camp from Camp 3 on the K2, the second highest mountain on earth, standing at 8,611 meters. In fact, the mountaineer from Parets del Vallès was part of an expedition that was trying to crown K2 in winter, but was already returning to base camp after giving up trying to make the summit. Mingote slipped and the first information indicated that he was very seriously injured and unconscious and that the rescue teams had activated his evacuation.

The death of Sergi Mingote at K2 has shocked the world of sport and also the world of politics. The PSC, the party with which he was mayor of Parets del Vallès, has expressed its condolences through the networks. "We received the news with dismay and pain. Catalonia loses a great sportsman and the Socialists lose a colleague who was a great mayor of Parets del Vallès", lceta lamented. "I am dismayed by the news of the accident that has put an end to the life of a magnificent sportsman, a former socialist mayor of Parets and a personal friend", added Health Minister Salvador Illa. Both sent their condolences to the family and friends of the mountaineer.

"You leave us a great void. Immense for your family. But you leave us a path to follow. A path full of sport and challenges. A path for inclusion. Above all, a path full of enthusiasm for life. We will continue it. Wherever you are, never stop flying", Gerard Figueras, Secretary General of Sport, lamented.

The mountaineer was in the process of descending from his acclimatisation (around 7,000 metres) with his Chilean partner, Juan Pablo Mohr. Mingote had left this past December to attempt the only summit over 8,000 meters that no one had ever managed to do in winter, the K2 (8,611m), as part of the Seven Summit Treks expedition with 10 climbers and 10 sherpas. In fact, members of his team have achieved the challenge that the Catalan mountaineer was pursuing, becoming the first to crown the K2 in winter.

Before leaving, in an event held at the Palau Robert the climber recognized that although he is in very good shape, trying to overcome camp 3 (7,300m), which no one has done so far, would be a success for this new adventure. Mingote got to this camp 3 to acclimatize. It was upon returning from the camp that the Catalan climber suffered an accident that proved fatal, despite the rapid activation of the rescue team.

FEEC (the Catalan mountain sports federation) President Jordi Merino has actively participated in the rescue of Sergi. Merino has been very affected by the news of his death because of the personal friendship that united them and the unconditional help that Sergi Mingote had always shown towards the federation. "A great mountaineer leaves us, a great person and a friend, always supporting Catalan hiking. I have no words", Merino said.

A life dedicated to challenges

Over the last year, Sergi Mingote had begun different mountaineering challenges that had led him to be the first person to reach six summits of more than 8,000 metres in just 367 days. This adventure had increased with the challenge of trying to be the first to do the 14 eight-thousand-metre summits in 1,000 days. The pandemic situation of covid-19 had led him to postpone this last challenge.

His eight-thousand-metre race began in 1998, making the summit of Cho Oyu (8,201 m) and continued with Shisha Pangma (8,027 m) in 1999. Even so, he received his first mountain recognition in 2001 when he managed to climb Everest (8,848 m) alone on the north face. A milestone that he extended with the K2 (8,611 m) and the Broad Peak (8,047 m) in 2018, in the midst of the 3x2x8000 challenge.

Politician and former Mayor of Parets del Vallès (2011-2018), Sergi Mingote devoted his life to mountaineering and the world of mountains, which he combined with different solidarity projects. The last one was the creation of the Onat Foundation, where he was the father of the inclusive prizes in Catalan sport.