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Rick Allen on the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat above Camp 2.
Photo by archivio www.mazeonridge.com
Rick Allen and Sandy Allan, Nanga Parbat (Pakistan)
Photo by Piolets d'or 2013
The immense Mazeno Ridge and Nanga Parbat, Pakistan.
Photo by Doug Scott
Some of the teams:: from left to right: Sandy Allan (Nanga Parbat); Sebastien Bohin (Kamet); Rick Allen (Nanga Parbat); Yasuhiro Hanatani (Kyashar) and Tatsuya Aoki (Kyashar).
Photo by Lanzeni / Piolets d'Or

Rick Allen perishes on K2

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68-year-old Scottish mountaineer Rick Allen has lost his life while attempting to establish a new route on K2. In 2012, together with Sandy Allan, he completed the historic first traverse of the interminable Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat.


Rick Allen, one of Scotland's most renowned mountaineers, has died on K2 while attempting to establish a new alpine-style on the southeast face of the second highest mountain in the world. The 68-year-old was caught in an avalanche, while his two climbing partners Jordi Tosas from Spain and Stephan Keck from Austria escaped unharmed. Rescued by Pakistani helicopters, they were subsequently transported to Skardu.

Born in 1953, Allen was one of the strongest mountaineers of his generation, a legend in his homeland for his mixed climbs (such as the spectacular Raven's Edge at Buachaille Etive Mor) and for his ascents on the highest mountains in the world. While it is impossible to list all his routes and attempts, his most representative climbs include a new route on the south face of Ganesh II (Lapsang Karbo) in Nepal established over a period of 12 days in the autumn 1984 together with Nikola Kekus, a new route up the southeast face of Pumori in 1986 with Sandy Allan, and a new, extraordinary direttissima on the north face of Dhaulagiri in 1993 with a Russian expedition. Furthermore, he summited Everest in 2000 after failed attempts in 1985 and 1987, and climbed the fearsome Diamir Face of Nanga Parbat in 2009 with Sandy Allan.

Despite this amazing pedigree Allen was not a star on the international climbing scene, but in 2012 this changed when over a period of 18 days together with fellow countryman Sandy Allan he completed what for decades had been described as "one of the last great problems in the Himalayas", the interminable Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat. After two previous attempts with Doug Scott in 1992 and 1995, the two mountaineers, well in their 50’s, completed the historic first traverse relying on their unfathomable determination, resilience and technical ability. Over 13 kilometers at altitude, with eight peaks higher than 7000m, along the insidious crest that divides the Rupal Face from the Diamir Face... Carried out in pure alpine style, the climb was rightly celebrated as an absolute milestone in high altitude mountaineering and rewarded with the Piolet d'Or 2013.

The mountains were evidently an integral part of Allen's life and in the years following the epic Mazeno climb he continued climbing actively; in 2018, during an attempt on Broad Peak, he got lost in descent and miraculously suvived after being guided by a drone.

Allen was on K2 now with Briton Jerry Gore to raise funds for Partners Relief & Development. On the official Facebook page, the charity stated on 25 July, "Rick died doing what he loved the most and lived his life with the courage of his convictions. Rick was committed to serving the worlds poorest and most vulnerable communities, and worked as a key member of the leadership of Partners Relief & Development UK for several years, campaigning for free, full lives for children affected by conflict and oppression."

After spending decades in the mountains, Allen was acutely conscious of both the dazzling beauty and the terrible dangers that the mountains hold. Conversing with his good friend Simon Richardson, who has described him as "not just an incredible mountaineer but a very kind and gentle man", prior to leaving for the Mazeno Ridge in 2012, Allen wrote about precisely these risks: "If you are someone who prays, please pray for us. If not, please pray anyway."

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NEWS / Related news:
Broad Peak drone footage of Rick Allen rescue
20.07.2018
Broad Peak drone footage of Rick Allen rescue
Footage of the moment Scottish mountaineer Rick Allen was identified by a drone above 7000 meters on Broad Peak after having been reported missing.
Rick Allen rescued by drone in descent off Broad Peak
16.07.2018
Rick Allen rescued by drone in descent off Broad Peak
Thanks to the help of a drone leading British mountaineer Rick Allen has been rescued in descent off Broad Peak (8047m) in Pakistan.
Mazeno Ridge: Sandy Allan and Rick Allen safe at Base Camp. Summit of Nanga Parbat confirmed!
19.07.2012
Mazeno Ridge: Sandy Allan and Rick Allen safe at Base Camp. Summit of Nanga Parbat confirmed!
Today 19 July at circa 12:00 local time British alpinists Sandy Allan and Rick Allen returned to Base Camp safe and sound after having reached the summit of Nanga Parbat on 15 July and after having completed the historic first traverse of the long Mazeno Ridge.
Piolets d'Or 2013: the incomprehensible universal tie
08.04.2013
Piolets d'Or 2013: the incomprehensible universal tie
Some thoughts about the Jury verdict of the 21st Piolet d'Or 2013 which assigned the award to all six nominated ascents.
Mazeno Ridge, updates directly from Pakistan
16.07.2012
Mazeno Ridge, updates directly from Pakistan
South African alpinist Cathy O'Dowd and Sherpa Nuru, Rangduk and Zarok are said to be safely at Base Camp of Nanga Parbat (Diamir Face) while the British mountaineers Sandy Allan and Rick Allen are said to be at 7100m. The information comes directly from Muhammad Ali of Adventure Pakistan, the Pakistani expedition tour operator.
Mazeno Ridge: Nanga Parbat summit not yet reached
12.07.2012
Mazeno Ridge: Nanga Parbat summit not yet reached
Contrary to Cathy O'Dowd's Twitter message last night, the South African alpinist has now published new messaged in which she makes clear that the summit has not yet been reached,. Her climbing partners Sandy Allan, Rick Allen and the Sherpa Rangduk and Zarok are currently on a summit push.
Mazeno Ridge: ascent completed to the summit of Nanga Parbat!
11.07.2012
Mazeno Ridge: ascent completed to the summit of Nanga Parbat!
The expedition comprised of Cathy O’Dowd, Sandy Allan and Rick Allen has just reached the summit of Nanga Parbat after having climbed the entire Mazeno Ridge.
Nanga Parbat Mazeno Ridge, Allan, Allen and O’Dowd on the ridge
09.07.2012
Nanga Parbat Mazeno Ridge, Allan, Allen and O’Dowd on the ridge
The expedition of Sandy Allan, Rick Allen and Cathy O’Dowd to attempt the unclimbed Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat, Pakistan.

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