Australian Matthew Eakin and Canadian climber Richard Cartier found dead on world’s second-highest peak

The family of an Australian mountaineer found dead on the world’s second-highest peak said their loved one “lived life to the full”.

The body of Sydney man Matthew Eakin was found on K2, after he vanished while climbing the mountain last week in northern Pakistan.

Richard Cartier, a physician from Quebec in Canada, was also found dead.

The body of Sydney man Matthew Eakin was found on K2, the world's second highest peak.
The body of Sydney man Matthew Eakin was found on K2, the world’s second highest peak. (Facebook)

Eakin’s family is among those paying tribute to the men.

“Matthew was a highly experienced and capable high altitude climber who had climbed extensively in Nepal and in Pakistan over the past decade,” the family said in a statement.

“Safety was his highest priority. His motto when climbing was ‘safety before summit’.

“Any risk he took was calculated and analysed thoroughly, as only he could.”

Eakin’s family said the mountaineer described his passion for life before his death.

“Many may ask why not stop? Don’t you have a death wish? The answers are simple; one day as a tiger is truly worth more than a thousand as a sheep,” he said.

“Once you taste the forbidden fruit of adventure and what you truly love doing, you’ll never look back. It’s sad that many (almost all) don’t find this.

“Some people’s passions just happen to have a higher probability of death.

“As for having a death wish? Far from it, I have a life wish. A wish to live deeply.”

K2 (Getty)
At 8611 metres, K2 is considered the world’s hardest mountain to climb. (Getty)

Eakin’s family said he cherished every second, whether it was in his work as a tax lawyer, mountaineering or spending time with loved ones.

“(He) did not waste a second of his life,” the family said.

“He was a kind-hearted, passionate, generous and larger-than-life character with an enquiring mind.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to Eakin’s family.

“We extend our condolences to his family and friends,” a statement read.

“Owing to our privacy obligations we are unable to provide further comment.”

The family said it is “grateful and comforted by the outpouring of love and support to our family from around the globe”.

“These messages have highlighted to us how Matthew’s extraordinary life touched the lives of so many,” they said.

Mountaineer Dr Richard Cartier is pictured on the far right with fellow climbers on K2.
Mountaineer Dr Richard Cartier is pictured on the far right with fellow climbers on K2. (Justin Dubé-Fahmy/Facebook)

It is understood Eakin and Cartier were descending when they encountered trouble.

It is believed the pair fell on a steep slope.

Quebec mountaineer, Justin Dubé-Fahmy, another member of the team, had been documenting the expedition on Facebook.

A post from July 21, explained the trio had reached Base Camp 4 at 7600 metres and would shortly begin their decent.

“Richard, Matt and I were burnt up,” Dubé-Fahmy said.

“16 hours of climbing. And today we touched lower C4 (7600m). Heading back to base camp tomorrow. Its getting cold. We are tired after these long 2 days.”

Eakin was an administrator of the Facebook group Mountaineers Downunder.

At 8611 metres, K2 is considered the hardest mountain to climb due to its variable weather and treacherous slopes.

Nearly 90 people have died trying to conquer K2 since 1954.

The mountain is located on the border of China and Pakistan.

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