Two copters out to find two missing US mountaineers

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Two choppers belonging to military aviation started on Saturday rescue operation and took flight over the 7,285-metre Ogre-II peak off the Choktoi Glacier in the Gilgit-Baltistan to find out the missing American climbers Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson who started their ascent 10 days ago.
The military aviation rescue teams have stepped up search for two American climbers who began their ascent of the Ogre-II peak off the Choktoi Glacier in the Gilgit-Baltistan on August 21, but went missing the next day and have not been seen since.
“Two helicopters belonging to military aviation flew over the mountains Saturday morning but there was no sign of the climbers,” Karrar Haidri, a spokesman for the Alpine Club of Pakistan told Pakistan Observer.
“The search goes on,” he added. Earlier, the helicopter search was delayed for days because of the adverse weather conditions. Authorities said that a team of local high-altitude rescuers was searching for the missing climbers for almost a week but bad weather has prevented them from ascending the peak.
Pakistan has long been a draw for foreign climbers lured by some of the most spectacular mountains on Earth, including the savage K2, the world’s second highest peak. Meanwhile, the global mountaineering community has raised $100,000 to find two American climbers who went missing in the Karakoram mountains 10 days ago.
Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson went missing while attempting to summit the Ogre II in the Karakoram that stands some 7,000 metres high, said Karrar Haidri, spokesperson for the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP). “Climbers from around the world raised $100,000 in 15 hours to fund a search and rescue for the climbers. Helicopters may be chartered to fly around the mountain in search of the climbers, but not in the stormy weather. As of August 31, the efforts to locate the climbers have been limited to sending search parties on foot,” Mr Haidri said.
Before Saturday, army helicopters were not able to conduct a single sortie because of the weather. In the absence of proper rescue facilities in Pakistan, which is one of the most popular climbing destinations for veteran climbers, the ACP charters army helicopters for search and rescue operations which cost thousands of dollars by the hour
While the summer climbing season in the Karakoram Range is over, a handful of climbers were still attempting their summits and Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson were trying to be the first to summit the Ogre II. According to the ACP, the two climbers set out on the north face of the mountain on August 21 and planned to reach the top and descend within five days.
They were last seen on Monday, August 22 by their Pakistani cook. The fundraising page of the global mountaineering community reads: “Please help these boys. We have also been required to transfer money for the helicopter rescue and porters on foot in search of Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson. With the unreliable weather we are in [need] of more money every day.”

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