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Climbers Missing on Baintha Brakk II (6980m); UPDATE

K2 Mountain

Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson, who were in Karakoram attempting the first ascent of Baintha Brakk II (Ogre II) North Face, have been out of contact since August 22nd. Update: Friday, Sept 2.

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Update: Friday, Sept 2, 2016 Morning Pakistan Time

Bad weather continues to hinder the attempts to search for missing climbers, Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson, on Baintha Brakk II (Ogre II). Helicopters remained grounded at Skardu, while apparently no one could enter the North Face of mountain. Weather Forecast shows an improvement in conditions over the next 24-48 hrs, from Friday afternoon.

Note that ‘traditional’ summer climbing season in Karakoram is over and there may be just a handful of climbers in the region; Thomas Huber’s team intended to attempt nearby peak Latok I, but its not known whether they have reached the mountains or not.

On the other hand, a group of porters have been dispatched up the Biafo Glacier to inspect the mountain from South side. Just in case, the two climbers decided to descend on that side of mountain, due to bad weather. These porters are expected to conduct a visual search of the region, today.

Ten days have gone by since last contact with Kyle and Scott, but there’s always hope. In fact, Ogre I (7284m) itself witnessed one of the finest survival stories in mountaineering history, when Doug Scott with both legs broken near the summit and fellow climbers made it back to Base Camp after two week on mountain, in 1977.


Previous

American alpinists Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson, who were in Karakoram attempting the first ascent of Baintha Brakk II (Ogre II) North Face, have been out of contact since August 22nd. As per details shared by climbers’ families, the duo launched summit push from their Base Camp on August 21st. They estimated the climb and descent to take 5 days, and were last seen on the evening of 22nd, when their cook spotted them roughly halfway up the face. However, snow and clouds moved in following day, and the two climbers remained out of communication.

“Kyle and Scott have not been seen since Monday, August 22, no surprise given the complexity and scale of the terrain and the vagaries of the weather. On Sunday, August 28, family and friends initiated a search and rescue effort, assisted by local authorities and another climbing team on the Choktoi.” The climbers’ home team started a funding campaign today, to facilitate SAR operation.

The weather is still unfavorable, denying the possibilities of aerial search or teams moving the face. “Our friends and the families of Kyle and Scott are working vigorously with local Pakistani heli, porter, and fellow climbing teams to locate them on the mountain. Weather has not been in our favor. Visibility is next to none. Heli has not been cleared to launch. Our rescue team at basecamp has attempted to climb the descent route but have been turned back due to weather. They will continue to try with each window of opportunity. Yesterday, we were able to send a team off of high altitude porters from the back side of the Ogre, a possible alternate descent Kyle and Scott may have taken from the summit because of the storm. They are hiking in now. It’s nighttime there. We hope for progress reports with the morning.”

Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson had already attempted Baintha Brakk II (6980m) North Face in 2015 when an injury prevented them to go beyond 6600m. Whereas, Kyle Dempster and Hayden Kennedy opened a new route on adjacent Baintha Brakk I (7284m) in 2013.

This post will be updated as further details arrive.

Kyle Dempster in the middle of the north face of Ogre II with the Choktoi Glacier below. Source:Scott Adamson / AAJ 2016

The north face of Ogre II. (1) The Adamson- Dempster's line of ascent in 2015. (2) The descent route. Source:Kyle Dempster / AAJ 2016

Illustrating the location and surroundings of Ogre II Source:Altitude Pakistan

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