Staff Reporter Islamabad
The rescue operation to locate three climbers, including Pakistan’s Muhammad Ali Sadpara, who went missing while attempting to summit K2, the world’s second-highest mountain was suspended after it failed to locate the mountaineers for the second day on Sunday.
Sadpara, John Snorri from Iceland and MP Mohr from Chile have not been contacted since the three began their push for the K2 summit from camp 3 at midnight between Thursday and Friday, according to their team. Several experts, including four local high altitude climbers, Fazal Ali and Jalal from Shimshal, Imtiaz Hussain and Akbar Ali from Skardu, Chhang Dawa Sherpa and other members of the SST winter expedition team, are part of the rescue mission.
Two army helicopters flew to their maximum limit of 7,800 metres for a second time and conducted aerial reconnaissance for an hour to locate the missing climbers. The search team traced the Abruzzi and other routes but did not see any signs of the mountaineers, according to Chhang Dawa Sherpa. Sherpa said the operation was not successful due to cloudy conditions and strong winds, and was temporarily suspended.
Talking to media in Skardu, Sajid Sadpara, the son of Ali Sadpara who was also part of the expedition but had to abandon due to equipment issues, said the three climbers probably met an accident while on their way back after climbing the K2. He said the trio had already climbed 8,200m when he broke away from them.
Sajid said the chances of surviving in the extremely cold weather after remaining missing for three days and without proper gear were “very low”, adding that an operation could be conducted to retrieve the bodies.
According to an official of the expedition team the rescue teams were searching for the missing climbers by following the route they had taken towards the summit through helicopters. The search will continue until all three are located, he added.