Well-known mountaineer Gerald McDonnell will be posthumously honored in September with the gold medal International Alpine Solidarity Award. The recognition will be awarded to the family of McDonnell in Pinzolo, Italy.In August 2008 McDonnell perished on K2 in the Himalayas during what is called the biggest tragedies on the world’s second tallest mountain. Eleven climbers died, but three mountaineers were rescued.
McDonnell was an Alaska resident originally from Limerick, Ireland and was a well-known Denali climber. He has received the Best Explorer’s award last year. According to local park rangers, McDonnell, along with another climber, received the Denali Pro Pin in 1999 for assisting five climbers down from Denali’s summit in white-out conditions.
Mountain Rescue Ireland nominated McDonnell for International Alpine Solidarity Award and said that with a mixture of sadness and joy they received the news of McDonnell being honored in Italy.