ISLAMABAD/GILGIT: The world’s second highest peak K2 claimed the life of another climber on Sunday.

According to Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) Secretary Karrar Haidri, Scottish mountaineer Rick Allen was attempting to open a new route on the southern face of K2 when he was killed by an avalanche.

The 52-year-old climber was part of a three-member team attempting to summit the 8,611 metre peak in the Karakoram Range.

“We are waiting for more details to come in. His climbing partners Stephan Keck from Austria and Jordi Tosas of Spain are reportedly safe,” Mr Haidri said.

They were rescued by Pakistan Army helicopters and shifted to Skardu.

Like other expeditions, the trio was taking advantage of the clear weather as most summit teams had gone up to Camp I and Camp II, the ACP secretary said.

According to Mr Haidri, Rick Allen was a respected veteran and a highly experienced alpine style climber. In 2012, Allen and his climbing partner Sandy Allan came into prominence after making the first complete ascent of Nanga Parbat’s Mazeno Ridge and earning a Piolet d’Or.

In 2017, he, Adam Bielecki and Felix Berg attempted a new route on Annapurna. The next year, he was lost due to poor visibility while making a summit push up Broad Peak. Allen was later located with the help of drones that were being used in the area to film Andrzej Bargiel’s ski descent of K2.

Meanwhile, ACP said Sajid Sadpara and his two climbing partners were descending to Camp II along with two groups of mountaineers whereas Madison Mountaineering and Samina Baig were in Camp I as well as the all-Pakistani team from Hushe village in Skardu.

Sajid Sadpara and Canadian filmmaker Elia Saikaly were on K2 where they had gone to search for Sajid’s father, veteran climber Mohammad Ali Sadpara, who went missing along with Iceland’s John Snorri and Chilean Juan Pablo Mohr while attempting to summit the peak in February.

Ali Sadpara was the only Pakistani mountaineer to have climbed eight of the 14 highest peaks in the world and made the first ever winter ascent on Nanga Parbat.

Sajid Sadpara climbed as high as 7,800 metres while his documentary filming team member used a drone to locate the missing climbers but they failed to do so, Karrar Haidri said.

Earlier, Sajid Sadpara had tweeted: “We have started our climb again. Will resume search, both physical and by drones; above 8,000m and beyond bottleneck. I am hopeful of finding a trace and answers.”

Meanwhile famous Pakistani mountaineer Samina Baig is also trying to summit K2 along with five local climbers.

Neils Jespers was at Camp II while two climbers Jeff Spelmans and Oswald Rodrigo Pereira have decided to call off their climb.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2021

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