Record-breaking mountaineer Kristin Harila is denying accusations that she and her team climbed past a dying man without trying to help as they raced up to the summit of K2.
This comes after a video recorded by climbing duo Wilhelm Steindl and Philip Flämig went viral showing climbers that same day, reportedly after Harila's team had passed, stepping over 27-year-old Mohammed Hassan, a porter who had fallen from above and was lying across the trail, badly injured at the time (see video below, posted by The Telegraph).
"It's all there in the drone footage," Steindl told Austria's Der Standard, via Yahoo!. "He is being treated by one person while everyone else is pushing towards the summit. The fact is that there was no organized rescue operation, although there were Sherpas and mountain guides on site who could have taken action."
"If he had been a westerner, he would have been rescued immediately. No one felt responsible for him. What happened there is a disgrace. A living human was left lying so that records could be set," Steindl added, his jab directed at Harila.
But the 37-year-old climber from Norway — who broke a world record that day after completing "her 14th highest peak in just over three months" — pushed back in an Instagram post after the duo's video caused backlash, including death threats (according to Harila). "This was no one's fault, you cannot comment when you do not understand the situation … [We] did everything we could for him at the time. This happened at the most dangerous part of the deadliest mountain in the world …"
She also said, according to The Guardian, "It is simply not true to say that we did nothing to help him. We tried to lift him back up for an hour and a half and my cameraman stayed on for another hour to look after him. At no point was he left alone. … Given the conditions, it is hard to see how he could have been saved."