K2’s Longest Night: What We Know

K2 Winter 8000ers
K2 at Dawn

At 2 am in Pakistan, there is still no news of John Snorri, Ali Sadpar,a and Juan Pablo Mohr. Sajid Sadpara is in Camp 3, but has seen no trace of their headlamps, 14 hours after they separated.

It is not possible to know what may have happened since they parted ways at the Bottleneck. We don’t know about the state of fixed ropes, the ice conditions under the Great Serac or the risk of slab avalanches on the Shoulder. We do not know if they might have got lost in the dark on the way down, or if they are simply exhausted and moving down slowly or trying to get shelter.

What we do know is that dawn will come in less than four hours. We also know that they are all strong, skilled climbers. Ali, in particular, is the most experienced winter 8,000m climber on the expedition.

We know that the temperatures were extremely cold even for winter K2, and that winds will increase tomorrow, mostly in the afternoon, as the jet stream descends on the mountain.

We know, therefore, that 22-year-old Sajid Sadpara may soon have to make the hardest call of his life and go down, with or without his father and his climbing partners.

Finally, we know that if there is someone in Base Camp fit enough to go up and meet Sajid along the route and help him make it down, that person should start preparing his backpack.

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Chileno
Chileno
4 months ago

Thank you for the update, angela. Hoping for their safe return.

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Bruno Misseeuw
Bruno Misseeuw
4 months ago

Fingers crossed – thoughts on K2 and how cold and windy it must be up there .. Maybe they were exhausted and have taken shelter in C4 .. waiting till dawn ..

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Turcu Mioara
Turcu Mioara
4 months ago
Reply to  Bruno Misseeuw

Camp 4 was not set up during this winter season.

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Farukh Ali
Farukh Ali
4 months ago

Angela, is Elia Saikaly (the filmmaker) still at C3?

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Fran
4 months ago

¿No cabe la posibilidad de que se hayan detenido en el C4?, ¿había material y víveres en dicho campo?.

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Farukh Ali
Farukh Ali
4 months ago

It will be a miracle if the three climbers makes it back to C3 in the morning. I’m praying for this miracle to come true.

I just wish there were few sherpas at C3 who could maybe go up and rescue those climbers. Maybe those surveillance satellites could help locate them?

Did something terrible happened after Sajid left? I really hope it’s not the case.

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Vitaha
Vitaha
4 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

Going to try to rescue would mean death. Hoping they took shelter, and will start moving down at dawn

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Farukh Ali
Farukh Ali
4 months ago
Reply to  Vitaha

I read it somewhere that John Snorri is carrying the tent with him just in case they needed some rest before summit. I hope they’re safe up there and show up in the morning so that we all can be happy.

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Farukh Ali
Farukh Ali
4 months ago

I was up all night yesterday when the team was leaving C3 for the summit and barely slept 2-3 hours in the morning. Stayed up all day and it’s currently 3:52 am in Pakistan and I’m still up as my heart is breaking. Genuinely so invested in John Snorri/Sadparas and team’s expedition on K2 during this winter season.

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Doryan
Doryan
4 months ago
Reply to  Farukh Ali

I am with you brother, I have been following all those climbers from the beginning of the K2Winter expedition and my heart is breaking seeing this unfollow now.

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Keshav
Keshav
4 months ago
Reply to  Doryan

I have been following them as well from Nepal. I pray that they have taken shelter somewhere up there and as the sun warms up, they can descend down to camp 3 and camp 2 before winds set in.

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DxM
DxM
4 months ago
Reply to  Keshav

I’m in Europe, far away and have been following these past 24h – heartbreaking situation. Even though I do not know these guys, they – and even more their families – are on my mind somehow all day and now in the middle of the night.all that’s left is hope.

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Don Paul
Don Paul
4 months ago

It’s a great drama and I’m also engrossed in it. Ten SST guides all summitted during the best weather window. All of their clients either turned back, died (Sergi Mingote and Atanas Skatov), or were evacuated by helicopter (Carlos Garranzo, Waldemar Kowalewski & Magdalena Gorzkowska), with the status of Juan Pablo Mohr unknown. A bittersweet victory I guess.

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Paul
Paul
4 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

From the group of 10 that summited on 16th Jan only one was from SST, 9 of the other was independent expeditions Mingma G x 3 and Nims x 6, they do not have any responsibility about people that was going up recently. Do not mess up!

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Tina L allington
Tina L allington
4 months ago

God bless them and keep them safe 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

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Derek S
Derek S
4 months ago

The world is cheering and praying for your return 🙏 thank you for the updates Angela, it must be hard on you as well.

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Annie
Annie
4 months ago

Thank you for the updates. The last paragraph is very moving. Thinking of Sajid and his next steps. Hoping for positive news for the rest of the team. Following the news from Maine, Untied States.

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Khadim Hussain
Khadim Hussain
4 months ago

Please update more information about soniri teams.

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Samson Simon Sharaf
4 months ago

A very realistic appraisal. With visibility, no news will be bad news. Crossing the shoulder at night with seracs and ice blocks is a tall order even in day time.

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Samson Simon Sharaf
4 months ago

Though unconfirmed, search & rescue by helicopters has begun

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AliAkbar sakhi
4 months ago

Everyone is waiting to have atleast some update about three climbers to k2 summit.
Ww are praying for their safety n success descent.

I hope everything is fine with these legends. I am following them since they t start their expedition.

Wish them safe summit.

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Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
4 months ago

Yes, The search and rescue has started through Helicopters. No news yet about the Bravest people on planet. May they come back safe and sound. It’s 8-10 hrs from C3 to summit and Back and it’s more than 24 hrs now.
Fingers crossed. All prayers for them

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Kersi printer
Kersi printer
4 months ago

Fingers crossed, hope they make it back safely.

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Kersi printer
Kersi printer
4 months ago

Fingers crossed 🤞 Hope they make it back safely

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Higo Torres
4 months ago

Lets cross our fingers and pray for the well being of these climbers.

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Pakistan K2
4 months ago

: Pakistan Army helicopters have returned to Skardu unsuccessful after conducting a search operation to trace missing mountaineer Ali Sadpara and two other team members who are on an expedition to conquer K2 during the winter.

The helicopters reportedly flew to a height of 7,000 metres in their attempt to locate the missing mountaineers but were unable to find any clues to their whereabouts. They had to return due to worsening weather and light conditions

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Ed kabar
Ed kabar
4 months ago
Reply to  Pakistan K2

Wow my prayers go out to them hopefully a miracle can happen real soon!!!

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Colin Acorn
Colin Acorn
4 months ago

I’m hoping we’re going to get an incredible tale of survival against all odds like the amazing survival story of Kurt Diemberger in 1986 high on K2 as told in ‘The Endless Knot’

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