Pakistan launches search operation after climbers go missing

Islamabad - Communication with Ali Sadpara and his team lost for several hours during their K2 expedition.

K2 is known as the “Savage Mountain” because of its harsh weather conditions.
K2 is known as the “Savage Mountain” because of its harsh weather conditions.

By Agencies

Published: Sat 6 Feb 2021, 5:31 PM

Pakistan Army launched an aerial search operation on Saturday to locate a missing mountaineer and his team members who are on an expedition to summit K2, the second highest peak of the world.

The missing mountaineer, Ali Sadpara had successfully climbed the 8,611-metre-high peak last Friday during the K2 Winter Expedition 2021, a month after their first attempt failed, Geo News said in a report.

Ali Sadpara.
Ali Sadpara.

The helicopters reportedly flew to a height of 7,000 metres in their attempt to locate the missing mountaineers but were unable to locate them. They had to return due to worsening weather and poor light.

The report said that Sadpara, John Snorri from Iceland and Juan Pablo from Chile had departed for their journey a day after Sadpara’s birthday in the wee hours of Wednesday, asking fans and admirers to “keep us in your prayers”.

Since then, he has since been providing updates on his Twitter account about the expedition.

His last tweet was posted on Saturday morning around 8.20am.

Sources have said Sadpara and his team were to reach camp 3 by 2pm on Saturday, but communication with the team has been lost for the last several hours.

Sadpara has proudly hoisted Pakistan’s flag on eight peaks. He was also part of the team which successfully achieved the first-ever winter summit on Nanga Parbat in 2016.

K2 is located on the China–Pakistan border between Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan, and Dafdar Township in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China.

It is the highest point of the Karakoram mountain range.

The peak is known as the “Savage Mountain” because of its harsh weather conditions: winds can blow at more than 200 kilometres per hour, and temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius.

Unlike Mount Everest, which has been topped by thousands of climbers, K2 is much less travelled.

With Pakistan’s borders open and with few other places to go, this winter an unprecedented four teams totalling around 60 climbers have converged on the mountain, more than all previous expeditions put together.

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