Pakistan Army helicopter resumes search for missing mountaineers

By: News Desk
Published: 11:20 AM, 7 Feb, 2021
Pakistan Army helicopter resumes search for missing mountaineers
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Pakistan Army’s aviation helicopters resumed the search operation on Sunday for the missing mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara and two other climbers from Iceland and Chile after the first round of the hunt did not yield any result, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

It has been over 40 hours that the three mountaineers were reported missing on the world’s second-highest mountain K2, also known as the “savage mountain”. 

Climbers John Snorri from Iceland, Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile and Muhammad Ali Sadpara from Pakistan reportedly lost contact with base camp on Friday.

The TV channel quoting its sources reported that professional mountaineers will be dropped on K2 for the search of the missing climbers and foremost priority of the search team is to look for any sign of the three mountaineers.

In a tweet, Alpine Adventures Guides said, “Praying for a miracle. Pakistan army's 5th Squadron helicopters are ready to fly towards K2, and will carry out the search and rescue again today. Chhang Dawa Sherpa and others will be ready at K2 BC to take up as possible higher, to search missing climbers.” 

Climber Muhammad Ali Sadpara was on an ambitious mission to climb K2 in winter on February 5 (Kashmir Day), after the Nepalis who summited it for the first time in winters weeks back. 

Sadpara was all prepared for the K2 summit push, world’s second-highest mountain, with his son and two other colleagues, John Snorri, a climber from Iceland and another climber from Chile.

Sajid Ali Sadpara, 20-year-old son of Muhammad Ali Sadpara had a malfunction in the oxygen regulator and came to Camp-II.

After that, the communication with the three mountaineers was not made at any level and later the authorities launched a search but due to bad weather conditions, they flew helicopters to maximum height as much as possible in that weather but no sign of mountaineers was found on K2 so far.  

President Arif Alvi said, “I hope Ali Sadpara and his co-climbers are alive and fine. These are very brave mountaineers. We pray for their safety.”

Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also prayed for the safe recovery of mountaineer Sadpara. He said Sadpara is a national hero and every effort should be made to find the mountaineer. 

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said, “Pakistani mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara is missing since 40 hours. He was on the way to K2 Peak. Please pray for his safe return along with his companions.”

Karrar Haidri, Secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, also told AFP that the climbers had gone missing on the mountain.

News of the missing men comes a day after a Bulgarian mountaineer was confirmed to have died on K2. He is the third mountaineer to die on K2's slopes this year, after a Spanish climber fell to his death last month.  

Russian-American Alex Goldfarb also died on a nearby mountain during an acclimatising mission in January.

A team of Nepali climbers made history on K2 last month when they became the first to scale it in winter. 

Conditions on K2 are harsh: winds can blow at more than 200 kilometres per hour (125 miles per hour) and temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 Fahrenheit). 

With Pakistan's borders open and 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.

Unlike Mount Everest, which has been scaled by thousands of climbers young and old, K2 is much less travelled due to its tough conditions.