Three-member expedition on K2 in search of missing climbers

Published July 24, 2021
This photo posted on July 17 shows Sajid Sadpara during the expedition. — Photo courtesy Sajid Sadpara's Twitter
This photo posted on July 17 shows Sajid Sadpara during the expedition. — Photo courtesy Sajid Sadpara's Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Sajid Sadpara and two other climbers have climbed as high as 7,800 metres on K2 in search of the three missing mountaineers from the last winter expedition, Alpine Club of Pakistan said on Friday.

One of the missing climbers was Sajid Sadpara’s father Mohammad Ali Sadpara.

Earlier in February, Ali Sadpara had gone missing along with his two climbing partners Iceland’s John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile. The trio were attempting to climb K2, the world’s second highest peak at 8,611 metres.

Until 2021, K2 was the only peak above 8,000 metres that had never been summated in winter and was on the radar of many mountaineers.

Ali Sadpara was the only Pakistani mountaineer to have summated eight of the 14 highest peaks in the world above 8,000 metres and made the first ever winter ascent on Nanga Parbat.

Sajid Sadpara and team have climbed up to 7,800 metres

Secretary Alpine Club of Pakistan Karrar Haidri said that before the bad weather hit on Friday, Sajid Sadpara and two other team members Elia Saikaly and Pasang Kaji Sherpa had pushed as high as possible, in their quest to find out what happened to the three missing winter climbers.

Mr Haidri said the search party, after reaching 7,800 metres on the windless day, used their drones up to 8,300 metres and scanned the route higher while looking for any signs of the missing mountaineers.

“No traces thus far of the missing climbers,” Karrar Haidri said while quoting the search party.

He said Elia Saikaly was also filming a documentary about the last winter’s dramatic events on K2.

Meanwhile, ACP said Anastasia (Nastya) Runova, after her successful summit of Broad Peak had met with an accident on descent. Apart from frostbitten fingers, the Russian climber was not physically hurt.

ACP said that she had slipped some 100 metres, but after resting she was able to descend safely to the base camp.

However, Korean mountaineer Kim Hong Bin was not so lucky who fell on Monday from an 80-degree wall and died.

He had climbed as high as 7,900 metres on the Broad Peak (8,047 metres), said the Alpine Club.

Meanwhile, other expeditions were waiting for clear weather window expected by next week to continue with their summit attempts on K2 and Broad Peak.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2021

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