GILGIT: An army aviation operation will be launched on Thursday, if weather permits, to rescue the two Japa­nese climbers who went missing during their attempt to summit 7,027-metre Spa­ntik Peak after ground rescuers remained unable to trace them in an initial attempt on Wednesday.

Ryuseki Hiraoka and Atsushi Taguchi climbing in Alpine style without porters had reached camp 2, situated at 5,300m altitude, between Shigar and Nagar districts of Gilgit-Baltistan on Monday, but when another seven-member Japanese expedition team reached the camp the next day, they were not there.

Subse­qu­e­­ntly, they suspended their expedition and returned to the base camp to inform officials.

The missing climbers are suspected to have fallen from camp 2, some evidence found by the fellow mountaineers indicated, though a trace and rescue mission by locals along with Japanese climbers would continue with the help of drones on Thursday.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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