Mountaineers mourning climber killed on K2

·2-min read

Australia's mountaineering community is mourning Matthew Eakin who died while attempting to scale K2, the world's second-highest peak.

The Sydneysider, who was in his early 40s, and Canadian Richard Cartier went missing last week on the mountain's Camp 1 (6000 metres) and Camp 2 (6700 metres) in separate incidents.

"Bodies of the climbers have been traced at a height of around 6500 metres," a spokesman for Alpine Club Pakistan told DPA news agency on Wednesday.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade official says Mr Eakin died on Thursday and officials are providing consular assistance and condolences to his family and friends.

Mr Eakin was an avid mountaineer who according to his Linkedin account attended school at St Joseph's College Hunters Hill before completing a law and commerce degree at the University of Canberra.

He founded the Mountaineers Downunder Facebook page for people to "discuss equipment, routes, trips and all great things related to mountaineering".

Mr Eakin's devastated friends posted tributes on social media, saying his death was a huge loss to the mountaineering community.

College friend Bree Shedden remembered his "his gorgeous, cheeky smile and absolutely boundless energy".

"He always told me he was going to journey the world, he wanted to run all the way across Australia to start! she wrote.

"Even at 19 years old he was planning big things. He sure did live life to the fullest which was exactly what he always said he would do."

Kashif Ali said his friend made "a huge contribution to the mountaineering community in Australia".

Felicity Symons wrote about their 23 years of friendship.

"I will always see your smile in the clouds. Rest easy my dear friend on the mountains you loved."

Animesh Duwadi lamented the mountaineering community had lost "another beautiful soul", the third this year on K2.

"Although heroes come and go, legends stay forever.

"Gone too soon but you will always be in our heart and memories. You have been pillar of support and inspiration for too many people," he wrote.

Rob Norman said anyone who spent time with Mr Eakin came away "with a renewed zest for life".

Jo Nevin sent her love, writing: "You've grown your wings too soon."

Asghar Ali Porik, from the Jasmine tour operating company that arranges climbs, said a team of more than 20 porters was assisting in a mission to retrieve bodies of the climbers.

At 8611m, K2 has earned the nickname 'Savage Mountain' due to its tough conditions. It is located in northern Pakistan near the border with China.

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