Hopes dim for three missing climbers on K2

SKARDU/LAHORE: The search operation to locate three missing climbers on the world’s second-highest mountain, K2 was temporarily suspended on the third day due to low visibility and poor weather conditions.

The three climbers including Muhammad Ali Sadpara, 45, of Pakistan, John Snorri, 47, of Iceland, and Juan Pablo Mohr, 33, of Chile, lost contact with the base camp on Friday as they pushed winter summit of the 8,611-metres (28,250ft) high K2 mountain.

Several experts, including local high altitude climbers Fazal Ali and Jalal from Shimshal, Imtiaz Hussain and Akbar Ali from Skardu, Romanian Alex Găvan, Nazir Sabir, Chhang Dawa Sherpa, and other members of the SST winter expedition team, took part in the rescue mission.

Survival chances bleak

Sajid Sadpara, son of Ali Sadpara, who had last seen his father at K2’s treacherous ‘bottleneck’ at around 8300m said the chances of his father being alive “are next to none”, adding that an operation could be conducted to retrieve the bodies.

“I think if they search for the bodies it makes sense to continue the [rescue] operation, but their chances of surviving, if you are at 8,000 (metres) in winter for two or three days … are next to none,” he said.

Ali Sadpara is our national hero: Pakistan Army spokesperson

Muhammad Ali Sadpara is our national hero. He is the nation’s asset, said Major General Babar Iftikhar, director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). “The Pakistan Army is putting in full efforts to rescue him and his team,” the ISPR chief promised.

Abdullah Zahid

Abdullah Zahid is TPD's correspondent in Karachi. He reports on Pakistani political affairs.

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