Islamabad, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Poor weather conditions prevented rescue operations on Tuesday for three climbers who went missing last week on Mt. K2 (8,611 meters) during an expedition on the world’s second highest peak.
“The helicopters are ready to flight. We are waiting for the good weather,” Alpine Club of Pakistan’s secretary Karrar Haidri told EFE.
He said that the military helicopters have not taken off for the search of Chile’s Juan Pablo Mohr, Iceland’s John Snorri and Pakistan’s Ali Sadpara since the previous day due to bad weather.
Moreover, two Pakistani mountaineers, Imtiaz Hussain and Akbar Ali, abandoned an attempt to search of those missing on K2 and returned to the base camp, while waiting for weather conditions to improve.
The K2, with a near perfect pyramid shape, is known as the “Savage Mountain” given the difficulty in climbing it, and weather conditions during winter can reach -50 degrees with winspeeds of 90 kilometers per hour.
So far only 377 mountaineers have successfully scaled the second highest peak in the world, and 88 have died in the attempt since Italy’s Achille Compagnoni became the first person to climb it in 1954.
The missing climbers had left the camp early Friday to take advantage of a window of good weather, but hours later their teams lost contact with them and their GPS locators.
On Saturday, the search efforts using helicopters began and on Monday, for the third consecutive day, two helicopters climbed up to heights of 7,000 meters along the expected route of the disappeared climbers.
The three climbers were also accompanied by Saldapara’s son, Sajid, who was with them in the so-called “bottleneck”, at 8,200 meters, but had to leave and return to camp III because of a problem with his oxygen regulator.
Sajid said in a video statement on Sunday that the possibility of finding the missing people alive was almost none.
The disappearance of the three climbers comes after the first ever winter ascent of K2, achieved by 10 Nepalese sherpas.
The Himalayan peak, on the border of China and Pakistan, was the last of the world’s 14 highest mountains, all over 8,000 meters, never to be scaled in winter.
The expedition, which began around the end of December, last month claimed the lives of Spain’s Sergi Mingote due to a fall and Bulgaria’s Atanas Georgiev Skatov after his safety rope broke. EFE-EPA