Sorry Brett, I must respectfully disagree.
The key to survival in the mountains is your mind and your ability to make rational decisions and act in a rational manner.
I certainly don't know enough of the details to really know what happened in these tragic deaths. I feel safe in saying that I've spent enough time in the mountains to make a few basic comments about why I disagree with Brett's conclusions.
Apparently, the temperature dropped from 10c to -15c over the course of four or five hours while the weather went from bluebird skies to light snow and then a storm. When you're faced with that kind of change, you must drop your plans, give up on your dreams, and make the kind of decisions that you don't want to make. You have to run away as fast as you possibly can.
That's the hard part. Let's face it, you've got a week off for vacation, you've planned and trained for months, the last thing you want to do is admit that the weather sucks and you need to give up. I've trained for a climb for six months, gotten time off from work and traveled two days to get to the route. Three hours into the route, with at least 16 hours to go, my partner started puking uncontrollably. One hour later of trying to ignore reality, we were on our way out. It's so bloody hard to give up on what you've planned and worked for. Facing the fact that my partner had food poisoning was incredibly hard for both of us, facing the fact that my success or failure in "traditional terms" was totally out of my hands meant a serious change in my attitude and my expectations.
Kelly Cordes and Colin Haley did the third integral (from top to bottom) climb of Cerro Torre last January using my packs. As such, I know exactly what they carried, and what their choices meant. In Kelly's joking words, "the pack was 200 grams lighter, so I brought ramen for the first time on a climb in years..."
This series of deaths proves one thing: the most dangerous thing in the mountains is being in the mountains. Objective hazards like weather and falling rocks are part of the mountain experience. When the weather changes dramatically, the best thing to do is to spend every bit of effort getting out of the area. You need to keep going until you are out of the danger zone. You need to fail down.
Failing down is making the hard decision that continuing is stupid, and it's time to run away as fast as possible. It is compared to "sticking it out" or bivying. Any extra weight you are carrying is going to slow down your flight to safety.
It took Kelly and Colin something like three weeks of waiting to then climb their route in just over two days. They got up and down alive because they knew how much weight they could carry at top speed, whether going up or down.They were willing to fail down rather than get stuck up in a far more dangerous environment. I think they tried the route two or three times, and gave up each time as the weather took a turn for the worse.
The vast majority of mountaineering deaths happen because people don't escape quickly enough. You don't know how long a storm will last. You do know that the mountain top will be the last place to recover from the storm's effects. The rational choice is to get down as fast as possible.
I hope I've managed to convey my opinion effectively. Forgive me if my post is a bit disjointed, it's a bit difficult to explain this knowledge without using climber's nomenclature and jargon.