K2: Pakistani Climbers Attempting Rescue

K2 Winter 8000ers
K2 earlier today. Photo: Chhang Dawa Sherpa

Battling the odds and increasingly strong winds, two Pakistani climbers are currently on K2, determined to do their best to find and rescue Ali Sadpara, John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr. The trio has been missing since 10 am on Friday.

Akbar and Imtiaz, who took part in the Tom Ballard and Daniele Nardi rescue attempt on Nanga Parbat in 2019, have been dropped at Base Camp by army helicopters this morning. Two more Pakistani climbers, Ali Raza and Ali Muhammad, both from Sadpara, are ready to assist but are still in Skardu.

Search and rescue efforts were initiated by John Snorri and Ali Sadpara’s families, John’s K2 climbing partner, Vanessa O’Brien, the Pakistan Army and the Foreign Ministries of Iceland and Pakistan. The Pakistan Army Aviation and High Altitude Porters have helped with this initiative. Rescuers will make a final attempt tomorrow, weather permitting.

Dawa Sherpa has confirmed that Sajid Sadpara arrived at Advanced Base Camp, but has not provided any details on his condition. News is also expected concerning the rest of Seven Summit Treks members, some of whom are reportedly frostbitten.

Antonios Syrakis, upon arrival in Base Camp today. Photo: Antonios Syrakis

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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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UMK
UMK
7 months ago

Though being a very optimistic person i am still keeping hopes however Unfortunately being realistic, the truth is being in open and that too for two nights at such height without any trace does make you think about the worst. It seems something bad happened but there is always hope for miracles to happen. I really hope they come down with smiling faces but i am very worried now as night decends on K2

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Vitaha
Vitaha
7 months ago

Mission impossible. Was going to sleep with high hopes, that they will return. Woke up to nothing. Chances of them surviving a night up there was very slim. Chances that they are still alive are almost zero. Odds that they will get rescued are zero to none. So sad. I was so confident they will summit and come back safely

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UMK
UMK
7 months ago
Reply to  Vitaha

Sad indeed and agreed.

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Muhammad Safdar Safdar Mirza
Muhammad Safdar Safdar Mirza
7 months ago
Reply to  Vitaha

Wallah..its sad..Allah help the climbers out there for life saving.

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Dennis
Dennis
7 months ago

It sounds like Sajid started descending from C3 in the morning on Saturday. There is a chance that the climbers spent the night near C4, and descended to C3 on Saturday after Sajid left. There should be lots of supplies in C3, so perhaps they decided to stay in C3 to rest and wait for the winds to calm down. The helicopters would not be able to get up to C3 and wouldnt see them there. Really hoping that this is what happened.

+1
K2 Summit Photographer
K2 Summit Photographer
7 months ago

The facts are clear. We all know the outcome. Gutted and devastated. My thoughts to all involved for the brave souls who venture into the unknown. You will be remembered forever.

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jmaf
jmaf
7 months ago

Prayers to their families in this difficult time. Hoping for a miracle that gets less likely by the hour.

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Don Paul
Don Paul
7 months ago

I wish the rescuers would turn back. The article says they are from Sadpara. What are they, his friends? If anyone should attempt a rescue it should be the self-promotional Seven Summit Tours company. Juan Pablo Mohr is one of their clients. The third dead one on this trip, after Sergi Mingote and Atanas Skatov. 3 previous heli rescues and appear to be more frostbite cases that need evacs. Every time the Pak helicopters fly, people’s lives are at risk. As I argued from the beginning, SST should not be allowed to bring this brutal business model to Pakistan.

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ASIM KAZMI
ASIM KAZMI
7 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

What a nasty comment !!

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Nat
Nat
7 months ago
Reply to  ASIM KAZMI

No,it’s an honest comment. As per usual they came unprepared. Most of their clients suffered from a stomach bug, their O2 regulators didn’t work. Not to mention the death rate of their clients is one of the worst within the climbing companies. Do your research. It wasn’t targeted against the Nepalese Sherpa community , it is the harsh reality of the sst. Alone in the ’19 Everest season they lost 6 clients , more as anyone else. And that’s also a fact.

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Lein
Lein
7 months ago
Reply to  Nat

Not defending them, but there are alot factors that goes with death rate. They do expeditions, that most companies won’t ever try to. 99% of companies won’t ever take a risk of attempting K2 at winter. Most companies won’t accept you to climb, if you don’t have alot of high altitude mountaineering experience. They will take you. They just there to make money, so they take alot risks, and with risks, you get higher fatality rates. It’s understandable.

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Nat
Nat
7 months ago
Reply to  Lein

That’s right ,but do you think is acceptable playing russian roulette wit peoples lives when they know the exact outcome? Cause I climb in the Alps ,with that experience I wouldn’t dare to even try the Himalayas or the Karakorum. They do cause the money they have, and there is a slim margin who to blame here. I think both party are to take it. However on the long run I don’t know how a company can operate with such a statistic. As of me I wouldn’t trust them, but I’m maybe far too realistic of a person.

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Shak
Shak
7 months ago
Reply to  Nat

I don’t feel they are playing with lives of their clients. They are offering a service that has very well defined risks. If people chose to pay their own money to risk their lives then the company has no liability. They must however provide the services that the clients have paid for, any lapses in that must be brought up strongly.

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Uttam
Uttam
7 months ago
Reply to  Nat

You can’t put all the blame solely at the feet of the company, if anything goes wrong on the mountain. When the client signs up to go up an eight-thousander, he/she accepts that they may never return alive. Not even God can guarantee their success or safe return (despite many prayers and offerings offered), let alone the company comprised of mere mortals. Also the government has to bear some responsibility/accountability: not issue climbing permits to those individuals or companies that have little or no high-altitude mountaineering experience. If there is too much demand for permits in any climbing season, (so… Read more »

Lein
Lein
7 months ago
Reply to  Don Paul

Not a correct way to put it that way. As adult, its you’r responsibility to assume all risks your taking signing up for something like this. Especially if your not prepared for that. Especially in winter time. Your chances of dying are very high if you want to get higher than a base camp. It’s a deadly business. Taking risks means there are always be fatalities. Sherpa’s need to feed families and make money too. It’s business. 2 people died from falling, due to their own mistakes. One missing, that made choice to join other group and go. SST not… Read more »

jams
jams
7 months ago
Reply to  Lein

Well said Lein. In out modern world it is always someone else’s fault when something goes wrong. At least in the mountains you accept the risk when you go there and you are responsible for your own life. An alien concept for sheep like masses in the west. Hell people are giving up their freedoms out of fear of a flu like virus. Expect them to understand mountaineering, good luck with that.
RIP to the brave trio on K2. At least they didn’t die wimpering in fear calling for the government to “do something”.

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Nat
Nat
7 months ago
Reply to  Lein

Yes they are as an operating company. Cause with your logic, I can just go and organise logistic etc.and if anything goes wrong than there’s no one else to blame . They are running this operation, they have the right to tell their clients I think you should turn back. But as money rules the world ,for them is more important to get the clients and their money as operating a company who brings them up and down safely on the mountain. The thing is tho ,they never ever took responsibility where it was due. Maybe if they did ,they… Read more »

Uttam
Uttam
7 months ago
Reply to  Nat

You wrote: “They [the company”] have the right to tell their clients you should turn back.” All fine in principle, but who’s paying money to the company? Of course, the clients. As some bard put put it: “Money doesn’t speak, it swears.” Never forget the golden rule: Those who have the gold make the rule. What if over-confident clients don’t want to return, even when told to? Then what? What if the company [unfairly] calls off the expedition, when the clients still feel they have a fair shot at the summit? Then what? The long and short of it is,… Read more »

Taimur Khan
Taimur Khan
7 months ago

The point kis fair. K2 is not Everest. Its not known as savage mountain for nothing. The lasyt thing experienced professionals like Ali and John Snorri needed while trying to recuperate in their tent was a bunch of thrill seekers crowding their tent. As it was the thrill seekers returned frost bitten but thankfully alive….but not before frustrating the efforts of the serious climbers in the tent to rest and recuperate bef9re their gruelling battle with k2, bottleneck and beyond! It is not inconceivable for k2 to claim lives of perfectly rested climbers….yet to have the ghost of a chance… Read more »

George
George
7 months ago
Reply to  Taimur Khan

What exactly has happened at their C3 tents??
SST members invated and let them out?

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chris
chris
7 months ago
Reply to  Taimur Khan

They were all pro climbers in C3, just like Ali and Snorri. btw, on whom do you refer? I hope not Antonis (bcoz he is in the photo and he had a frostbite), he has 60 expeditions in 35 years, including 4 8ers.

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Roch
7 months ago
Reply to  Taimur Khan

How about VO2 max requirements (say 80) must be proven…That wil leave Sherpas, a few olympic endurance athletes and…well thats it…If you need O2 you don’t belong. The business is a joke filled with egomaniacal opportunists.

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Pakistan K2
7 months ago

Hats off to brave Pakistani military men and Pakistani climbers for rescue attempts. May Allah bless miracle for safe return of Ali, Snorri, jp mohr and save rescue team. Aameen

+1
alp
alp
7 months ago
Reply to  Pakistan K2

se debe de investigar que paso en el campo3 la noche previa a la ascension a la cima del k2, 2 tiendas para 14 personas, no era lo correcto. Seven Summit Tours. tiene que aclara la mala prevision de tiendas, que obligo a un hacinamiento que no dejo descansar y comer ni hidratarse dado que seria imposible, por falta de espacio. Aqui empezo es tragedia, aparte tambien de investigar como es posible que dos escaladores con amplia experiencia se mataran por problemas con las cuerdas fijas.

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jams
jams
7 months ago

What is the point in flying in “rescuers” who are not acclimatized and would be lucky to make C1 let alone to C3 where help is needed.

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Uttam
Uttam
7 months ago
Reply to  jams

the point is to prove that they did all they could to rescue the climbers, so that they will not be blamed later on. Do not forget that Ali Sadpara is a Pakistani mountain climbing legend (and deservedly so), now missing on his own home mountain along with two others. if the government didn’t fly at least a few rescue missions, the people of Pakistan will take the government to task, and deservedly so.

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Yawar from Karachi
Yawar from Karachi
7 months ago

I was following the news and found out that the missing Ali Sadpara have no walkie talkie. The Govt must set guidelines for every climber to have minimum safety equipments like this, before going on climbing.

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