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Russian-American Alex Goldfarb Dies Climbing in Karakoram

The Harvard University lecturer and doctor was the second mountaineer to die in the area within the past week

A Russian-American climber, who had gone missing at Pastore Peak on Friday, was found dead on Monday. Pakistan’s military located the body of Goldfarb in the Karakoram mountains in northern Pakistan.

A helicopter team spotted Goldfarb’s remains during a search and rescue operation that began on Sunday, according to the Alpine Club of Pakistan. He appeared to have fallen off the mountain, Hungarian expedition company Magyar Expedicios, which was supporting the climbers, said in a statement.

Goldfarb and Hungarian Zoltan Szlanko were at the Broad Peak base camp to attempt to mountain later this year. They moved to Pastore Peak for acclimatisation. Zoltan returned to base camp after Goldfarb had gone missing.


Goldfarb was a doctor and lecturer at Harvard University. He had volunteered to treat covid patients during the pandemic according to his son, Levi Goldfarb. “He thought climbing was beautiful,” Levi said.

“He thought it was liberating, because up in the mountains it didn’t really matter who you were at sea level – a doctor, a lawyer, or even a thief, all of those labels were stripped away and you were playing by a different set of rules. He made great friends in the mountains, he saved lives and saved himself, and he travelled the world doing it.”

On Saturday, a team of Nepalese climbers made history by making the first winter ascent of K2. Later that day, Spanish climber Sergi Mingote fell to his death on K2.