GILGIT: The three missing climbers at K2 — Mohammad Ali Sadpara, John Snorri from Iceland and JP Mohr from Chile — were declared dead officially here on Thursday.

Addressing a joint press conference, Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism Minister Raja Nasir Ali Khan, Sajid Sadpara and a representative of John Snorri said that the three missing climbers had made K2 summit but met an incident during descending.

The three climbers went missing on February 5 when they began their push to K2 summit from their Camp 3. They were last seen at Bottleneck, barely 400 metres below the summit of K2, also known as the Savage Mountain.

Speaking on the occasion, Sajid Ali Sadpara, the son of Ali Sadpara, said that his with the two foreign climbers started summit push from 8,200 meters on Feb 5.

GB govt recommends Sadpara, son for civil award

“The three were healthy when they were above the 8,200 metres altitude. I believe that they made K2 summit and they might have faced an accident during their return journey,” he said.

He pledged to follow in the footprints of his father.

“My family lost a kindhearted person and the Pakistani nation lost a brave, experienced and strong climber, who had a passion for waving the national flag on top of mountains,” he said.

A representative of John Snorri and JP Mohr read a statement on behalf of the families of the foreign climbers. “All three were strong mountaineers willing, able and with the courage to make history by standing on top of K2 in winter conditions,” he said.

He said that the last known contact by the telephone of John Snorri proved that all the three climbers made it to the top of K2 and something happened to them during the descent.

Minister Raja Nasir Ali Khan said that army, federal and GB governments started emergency aerial and ground search to locate the missing climbers on Feb 6. The operation continued till Feb 12, he added.

He said keeping in the view the weather condition at K2, the government and families of the missing climbers came to the conclusion that they were no more.

He said that GB government recommended Sadpara and his son for civil awards.

A financial package for the family would also be announced along with scholarships for his children, he added.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2021

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