These last fews days here in the Himalayas have not been easy. Last nights I’ve been awake. Sergi Mingote’s death was a bucket of cold water in my face, a terrible news that we didn’t expect at all. Just putting myself in the shoes of Tamara Lunger or Mingote´s family … gives me goosebumps. I send them a big hug.

It is true,  who lives this life, and since long time, understands we take many risks, that climbing this kind of mountains is not a nice walk. But you are never ready for this kind of “hit”. It is terribly difficult to see someone passing away so young and due to an unfortunate accident.

It was my climbing partner Simone Moro who gave me by radio the two important news of the day while we were triyng  to move little bit higher than camp 1. “Alex, Mingote had an accident and we will help him as we can. It looks serious”. I was frozen. He then added: “The Nepalese team managed to summit K2”. Two conflicting reports that have undoubtedly and totally changed my mood. On the one hand, a good man was dead and, on the other, the Nepalese people had accomplished an important feat of which I was very happy. A bittersweet sensation invaded my body.

Next step was clear to me: out of respect to Mingote, we had to go down to base camp. It was my way of mourning him. To show him my consideration. At first it wasn’t a joint decision, but it was firm and very determined. It was something that had to be done. To be respected, you must learn to respect. So I did. Rest in peace, my friend.

Finally, my sincere congratulations to Nepalese team. Hip hip hurrah! You don’t know how happy I am for them. For decades they have been helping people like us to achieve our dreams and this week it was they who realized their ones, entering history from the front door. I read with amazement the criticisms of some purists. How can we fault some of them to have used oxygen? Isn’t it hard and honest enough to summit K2 in the dead of winter? What else needs to be done to make people accept that what they did was not accomplished by anyone before in history?

I do not share these criticisms at all. After spending so much time in the shadow of expeditions like ours, they have been the protagonists of their own story, bringing Nepalese flag to the top. So, congratulations! You have enormous merit. It’s a shame this news coincided with that of Sergi Mingote’s death. The mountain is like that. It can give you and take everything away from you. This is part of it. And we accept it.