K2 Expedition: Search operation for Ali Sadpara, John Snorri & Juan Pablo continues

SKARDU: A Pakistan Army Aviation helicopter team, 5 Squadron pilots, and high altitude porters have started another search mission on K2 Mountain, also known as the killer mountain today to trace missing climbers Muhammad Ali Sadpara, John Snorri and Juan Pablo.

The three went missing on Saturday at K2 – the world’s second-highest mountain – after which a search operation to retrieve them was launched. “It’s already been more than 30 hours, we (at basecamp) have received no news of John Snorri, Ali Sadpara, and Juan Pablo Mohr, since none of the GPS trackers seem to be working,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa, their expedition manager, said in a statement.

A search operation on Saturday failed to trace the whereabouts of the three. Earlier, a Bulgarian mountaineer was confirmed to have died on K2.

PM, COAS following developments regarding missing mountaineers, Bukhari

In an update shared on Saturday night, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari said Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Bajwa were “concerned and personally following all developments regarding our missing mountaineers”.

“High altitude porters and Lama helis will restart search at the crack of dawn. Prayers needed from everyone for their safe return,” he wrote.

K2 bottleneck traverse

Muhammad Ali Sadpara’s son Sajid Sadpara, who descended to the base camp yesterday due to issues with his oxygen regulator, said that at 10am on February 5, Sadpara, Snorri and Prieto were at 8,150 metres “therefore they took two or two-and-a-half hours longer than the successful Nepali summit team to reach that spot,” explorer web reported.

Twitter prays for Pakistani mountaineer team’s safe return

Following the news, people across Pakistan turned to Twitter to pray for the safe return of Sadpara and his companions from Pakistan’s north.

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.

Sadpara is a proud national hero who has risked his life to wave the national flag on the world’s highest peaks, all possible efforts to be taken to locate the missing men, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said.

Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan and the government of Pakistan’s official account also tweeted for his safe return.

Abdullah Zahid

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

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