Islamabad: Three renowned climbers — Pakistan’s Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Iceland’s John Snorri and Chile’s JP Mohr — are officially missing, according to the Alpine Club of Pakistan and the manager of the expedition, Chhang Dawa Sherpa.
Earlier, it was reported that they had summited K2 (8,711m) on Friday as part of their winter expedition, however that claim was yet to be confirmed officially.
A rescue operation has been launched using army helicopters, announced the Alpine Adventure Guides on Twitter, however, thirty hours have passed but there is no news of their whereabouts.
According to the ACP’s Secretary Karrar Haideri, the rescue teams were trying to locate the missing climbers and high altitude porters are on the way to Camp-1 in this connection. “They will spend the night there and will start their search operation by tomorrow morning,” he further said.
Muhammad Ali Sadpara’s son Sajid Sadpara, is safely back to Camp-1. The Alpine Adventure Guides announced on Twitter that Sajid Ali Sadpara has reached the base camp and he is safe.
Regarding Muhammad Ali Sadpara and the two other mountaineers it announced they were missing and requested all to pray for the miracle.
“The pilot has been instructed to take the flight up as maximum as possible as it’s very low temperature and 35+ KM wind above 6500m,” it said adding at the basecamp, we have prepared oxygen bottles, high foods, masks, regulators for 2 Pakistani climbers (HAP), it further announced.
While talking to Gulf News, Karrar Haideri said since the temperature was terribly low and the strong winds were raging there were 50/50 chances for their safe return. However, we should not lose hope and we shall keep trying our best to locate and bring them back safely, he said.
Sajid had to earlier give up his ascent due to a malfunctioning oxygen regulator and he descended to Camp-3. After his return, he left for the lookout for other members of the team but did not find any trace of them.
The 22 climbers, including Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his son Sajid Sadpara, from the two expedition groups had started ascending the peak from base camp on Wednesday.
They had arrived at Camp-2 on Wednesday evening and after a night stay, they resumed the mission on Thursday morning, reaching Camp-3 in the evening.
According to a statement released by the expedition, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, his son Sajid Sadpara, John Snorri, Juan Pablo Mohr Prieto left for the final summit at midnight between Thursday and Friday, aiming to reach the summit in 14 hours.
However, 18 members of the Seven Summits Treks (SST) climbers decided to abandon the mission and on their way back, one from Bulgaria fell to his death.
Sadpara is a Pakistani mountaineer and has hoisted the country’s flag on eight peaks. He was also part of the team that successfully achieved the first-ever winter summit on Nanga Parbat in 2016.
President Dr Arif Alvi in a tweet on Saturday prayed for the safe return of Sadpara and his co-mountaineers. “I hope Ali Sadpara and his co-climbers are alive and fine. These are very brave mountaineers. We pray for their safety," he said.