(By Raheel Adnan) As per an official press release, Xevi Gomez, Alvaro Paredes and Abel Alonso have been presumed dead on Gasherbrum 1. Having spent too much time at altitude without food and shelter, chances for their survival were non-existent. Apart from search conducted by climbers, sherpas and porters, two helicopters spent several hours looking for missing climbers on July 26th. The search operation was discontinued yesterday evening. The climbers will probably remain on 'Hidden Peak', forever.
After aborting the summit bid yesterday and retreating to BC, several K2 climbers have made the tough but rational decision of leaving the mountain. "After a final meeting with all the remaining teams at BC this morning, the collective and reluctant decision was made to abandon summit plans for K2 this season, due to the deep and dangerous snow conditions on the mountain," wrote Adrian Hayes, the British adventurer, "... suffice to say that today I'm somewhat devastated".
But Adrian also tells us that Kiwi duo (Marty Schmidt and his son Denali) are still on the mountain. They went up from C2 to C3, when everyone else turned back to BC.
In 2012, more than two dozen climbers summited K2, but previously no one was able to reach the top from the South-side for three consecutive years - 2009, 2010 and 2011. Success in 2011 came from the Northside when four strong climbers - Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Darek Zaluski, Vassiliy Pivtsov and Maxut Zhumayev made it to the top. 2008 was the disastrous year when eleven climbers lost their lives high on the mountain.
This year's K2 teams included:-
1) A Japanese team who reached BC early in the season.
2) International Broad Peak / K2 Expedition of Kiwi Marty Schmidt and his son Denali, Australian Chris Mellor Warner and Greek Alexandros Aravidis and Nikolaos Mangitsis and Sherpas.
3) British/Canadian Expedition that consisted of Adrian Hayes and Al Hancock, with four Sherpas.
4) Swiss Team of Mike Horn, Kobi Reichen and Fred Roux.
5) Spaniards Alex Txikon and Felix Criado joined by Mexican Benjamin Salazar and his Sherpa.
6) Argentinean duo Matoco Erroz and Juan Pablo Milana.
7) A Mongolian lady, Badamgarav Gangaamaa, also had plans to attempt K2, for which she was acclimatizing on Broad Peak. It appears that she couldn't move to K2, due to unforeseen reasons.
Based in Lahore, Pakistan, telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
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