A second lost friend

A second lost friend

DAY

In 2018, mountaineer François-Guy Thivierge took the death of Serge Dessureault badly at K2. Now he curses even more the mountain which cruelly robbed him of a second friend in Richard Cartier.

“I met him in 1980 and he became my friend. At that time, the mountaineering community was very small, few of us in Quebec climbed. 

“ When I heard the news, it knocked me out. I'm stunned by that,” he told the Journal when he reached Peru, where he had just completed the ascent of Alpamayo. 

Thivierge has been at the heart, for several months, of a major project to climb 55 mountains in 55 months to celebrate his 55 years. 

It was never intended to include the “wild mountain” in its list and even less with the disturbing news that affects it.

“The K2, I don't like it, it doesn't appeal to me. It was an accident that happened to a super competent guy, who knew what he was doing. The K2 took two of my friends. This mountain will never be on my list,” he cursed.

A ‘pure’ climb

According to the seasoned mountaineer, who has more than 200 mountains and more than 3,000 ascents to his credit, K2 is an extremely dangerous place in large part because the equipment on site is inadequate.

However, in this case, the information circulating leads Thivierge to believe that his friend died of exhaustion.

“Richard is a genuine mountaineer trying to do K2 in an alpine style with no Sherpa help and no oxygen support. Everything indicates that he died frozen and tired during an interminable descent. He is a mountain dweller like you don't find many of them today,” he testified.

Serge Dessureault, Victim of K2

Much worse than Everest

In 2008, Thivierge had reached the summit of Everest, not without difficulty. According to him, however, the level of danger does not approach that of K2.

“On Everest, I was scared on several occasions when I saw badly tied knots, badly tied ropes attached, poorly planted stakes… And it is recognized that it is much worse at K2 ”, he said.

“The K2 is known to be poorly equipped. There are anchors and ropes that are installed by Pakistanis, who are not mountain guides. They have little experience and are poorly supervised. ”, he recalled.

Missed meeting

The mountaineer of Quebec hoped to see Richard Cartier again. Recently, when Thivierge was in Western Canada with a modified camper, there was talk of his friend joining him or using his vehicle for an expedition.

“ My sadness is immense for his loved ones, his family, his friends. It's appalling,” he murmured with emotion.

Despite the shock, Thivierge does not intend to end his journey of 55 mountains.< /p>

“We don't stop the project. It is not because there are car accidents that we stop taking the car, but it is sure that there are questionings. I prefer to choose mountains that do not have the mortality history of K2.