A Climber We Lost: John Snorri, February 5

Each January we post a farewell tribute to those members of our community lost in the year just past. Some of the people you may have heard of, some not. All are part of our community and contributed to climbing.

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You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2021 here.

John Snorri, 48, February 5

John Snorri Sigurjónsson was a dedicated mountaineer and a beloved member of The Iceland Touring Association (FÍ). When not climbing in the Greater Ranges, John strove to encourage tourism in his homeland, serving on the travel committee, as a tour guide, and as a youth group leader. He guided multiple trips to the highest mountains in Iceland.

In 2017, John Snorri became the first Icelander to climb K2 and Lhotse, the second- and fourth-highest mountains in the world. On the FÍ’s 90th anniversary later that year, John Snorri was awarded the association’s gold medal for elevating Icelandic mountaineering.

John Snorri with his wife, Lína Móey. (Photo: Courtesy John Snorri community)

John achieved national recognition after summiting K2 and Broad Peak in the same year. In an interview with DV, an Icelandic newspaper, he said: “I like to say that I’m just a country boy from Ölfus. And there are no high mountains there, so it can be said that I am a flatlander.”

John was raised on the farm Ingólfshvolur, where he lived with his parents and two sisters. He went to primary school in Hveragerði but says he was not a strong student at the time.

“I always threw my school bag in the lobby as soon as I got home from school and it was picked up when I went to school again the next day. I always got into my work clothes right away and went out into nature. I was a very lucky kid, my dad allowed me to do a lot of things. However, I had certain responsibilities on the farm and took care of some of the animals. I think I was seven years old … so I was put in charge early on.”

John Snorri left on an expedition to K2 in November 2020 and went missing on February 5, 2021. Alongside his teammates Ali Sadpara and Juan Pablo, he aimed to climb K2 in winter. No one knows what exactly went wrong, but the trio never returned from their summit push.

John Snorri leaves behind a wife, Lína Móey, and six children.

—Páll Guðmundsson


You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2021 here.