Gillette Murder May Be Botched Robbery
Two Suspects Arrested
Monday, August 10, 1998 10:30 a.m.

Ned Gillette's murder last Wednesday was apparently a botched robbery attempt, Greg Mortenson, of Bozeman, Montana, who runs the Central Asia Institute, said. Gillette, who lived in Sun Valley, Idaho and Cape Cod, was killed in the Haramosh valley of Pakistan. The Haramosh is in the Hunza area, approximately 50 miles east of Gilgit. Skardu, on the K2 trekking route, by contrast, is approximately 180 miles east of Gilgit.

"Local authorities told me that the pair was camping at the base of the 6800 meter Laila Peak, near Chogolumga Glacier, when the attack occurred. After the killings, the murderers ran away without taking anything. Police say it was a botched robbery attempt and they have arrested two people who are believed to be the murderers. Local villagers in the Haramosh turned them in," Mortenson said. He cautioned that there are two Laila peaks in Pakistan, one near K2 and this one, in the Haramosh.

"Gillette was a world-wide traveler, and knew what he was doing," said Mortenson. "But I would never have gone up there. Everybody has guns," he said. Mortenson has run the Central Asia Institute, which is involved in education and health care issues in the K2 area, for the past six years.

Local sources reported that Gillette's wife Susan has reached Islamabad, where her brother has reportedly arrived. Gillette's killing is believed to be the first murder of a foreigner in northern Pakistan.

Gillette was member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic cross country ski team

He had also skied around Mount Everest, and made a ski descent of Mustagh Ata in Tibet, one of the first major ski descents.

Gillette was a prolific writer, with books about Everest and a recent book on skiing.

Ned Gillette murdered in Pakistan
Noted Climber, Skier, Author and Explorer Shot
Monday, August 10, 1998 10 a.m.

Ned Gillette was shot and killed in Haramosh Valley, at base of Laila peak, in Pakistan, while in a tent with his wife, Susan, The Mountain Zone has confirmed through sources in Islamabad.

Ned died immediately. Susan is stable, and is reportedly recovering. One source said Susan will be in Islamabad as soon as she is able to travel from Gilgit.

The Gilgit Superitendant of Police has gone to Haramosh to arrest the killers. One western climber, who has traveled extensively in the area told The Mountain Zone: "To me, from here, it seems senseless and tragic. This could have been anyone who entered that area. I don't know if anything led up to the shooting, but if they were in their tent, then it was cold-blooded. When you walk up Haramosh Valley, everyone knows you are there."

"Haramosh is a tough place. It is not a frequented trek/climb place. AK 47's, guns, all kinds of guns, are everywhere. Militant Islamic Shiites are there," the climber said.

Peter Potterfield, Staff

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