Weather continues to block search for Ali Sadpara, two others

Published February 10, 2021
A Pakistan Army helicopter carries out search for missing climbers near K2 on Saturday. — Dawn/File
A Pakistan Army helicopter carries out search for missing climbers near K2 on Saturday. — Dawn/File

Poor weather on Wednesday continued to hamper the search and rescue mission for climbers Mohammad Ali Sadpara, John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr who were last seen near the K2 Bottleneck on Friday morning.

The Inter-Services Public Relations said the search team is on standby and will carry on with the mission once the weather shows improvement.

"Mostly dry, extremely cold max, -35°C on Wed afternoon. Winds decreasing (severe gales from the WSW [west-southwest] on Wed night)," a forecast on Mountain Forecast said.

The forecast added that the temperature is expected to be -41°C on Thursday afternoon, with light winds from the west-northwest by Friday afternoon.

The search operation for Sadpara and his colleagues has been constantly plagued by bad weather. The operation was temporarily suspended on Sunday, after army helicopters failed to locate the mountaineers despite flying at their maximum limit of 7,800 metres.

The mission had to be suspended on Monday as well due to low visibility and poor weather conditions.

Yesterday, the operation had to be suspended again due to strong winds and snowfall. Pakistani climber and skier Karim Shah Naziri had yesterday said that the army would dispatch a C-130 for today's search mission as it can fly at around 8,000m.

“Aerial surveillance will be carried out but all that depends on the weather conditions," he said. "If the mountain is visible, then the flight will take place. Photos will be taken and sensors will be used to spot the climbers."

The three climbers lost contact with the base camp late on Friday and were reported missing on Saturday after their support team stopped receiving communications from them during their attempt to summit the world's second-highest mountain.

Several experts, including local high altitude climbers Fazal Ali and Jalal from Shimshal, Imtiaz Hussain and Akbar Ali from Skardu, Romanian Alex Găvan, Nazir Sabir, Chhang Dawa Sherpa, and other members of the SST winter expedition team, were part of the rescue mission.

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