The Pakistan Army launched another search operation Sunday morning to rescue Muhammad Ali Sadpara, the Pakistani on the mission to hoist the national flag on the world’s second-highest mountain K2, and two foreign climbers after they lost contact with their teams on Friday.
Two helicopters with local mountaineers and porters have flown from Skardu. They will go up to 7,000 meters.
Sadpara, John Snorri from Iceland, and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile were attempting the winter K2 summit but lost contact after they began their push from camp 3 at midnight between Thursday and Friday.
“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.
On Saturday, an army helicopter conducted a search flight. “Unfortunately, they cannot trace anything and the condition up in the mountain and even at the basecamp is getting poor,” he added.
On the other hand, Sadpara’s son Sajid, who was also part of the expedition, reached back to the base camp after waiting for the climbers for over 20 hours at camp 2. He had returned to camp 3 due to issues with his oxygen regulator.
Following the news, people across Pakistan requested prayers for the safe return of Sadpara and his companions.
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, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said.
Search & rescue teams are actively looking for Ali Sadpara,John Snorri & JP Mohr. Weather conditions aren’t favourable so it’s not an easy mission. We have support of Pakistan Army and will be doing everything possible to get them home safely.
Keep praying Pakistan!#K2winter2021 pic.twitter.com/lFjGkGs9mi
— Sayed Z Bukhari (@sayedzbukhari) February 6, 2021
Prayers for safe return of our hero Muhammad Ali Sadpara and his fellow mountaineers!
— Government of Pakistan (@GovtofPakistan) February 6, 2021
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.