September 25, 1926 (age 26) (
August 10, 1953 (aged 26) K2
Julie Tullis, Marty Schmidt, Ger McDonnell
Gilkey Memorial: K2 Base Camp | Into the Icefall | Indus News
Art (Arthur Karr) Gilkey (1926 – 1953) was an American geologist and mountaineer.
Gilkey was born on September 25, 1926, in Boulder, Colorado, to Herbert J. Gilkey (1890-1976) and Mildred (Talbot) Gilkey, and was raised in Ames, Iowa, where his father was a professor of Engineering. He earned a B.Sc from Iowa State in 1949 and, after a tour of duty in the Navy during World War II, began graduate study in Geology at Columbia University, where he earned an M.Sc. degree in 1950. Prior to his death, Gilkey had completed his doctoral dissertation, “Fracture Pattern of the Zuni Uplift.” His Ph.D. was awarded posthumously.
He explored Alaska in 1950 and 1952, and died during a 1953 American expedition to K2. Approaching the summit, he suffered from thrombophlebitis (blood clots in the leg) or possibly deep venous thrombosis, followed by pulmonary embolism. During an attempt by his fellow climbers (including Charles Houston and Pete Schoening) to bring him down the mountain while he was wrapped in a sleeping bag, Gilkey's body disappeared. Some conjecture he was swept away by an avalanche, others that he untied himself from the ropes and sacrificed himself to spare his teammates from further risk on his behalf). Gilkey's remains were discovered in 1993, melting out of the glacier at the base of the south face of K2.