K2: Sajid Speaks

K2 Winter 8000ers

In an interview with local television in Skardu, Sajid Sadpara summarized what happened the night his father Ali, along with John Snorri and JP Mohr, went missing.

Sajid’s story:

We started for the summit the night of February 5 around 11 pm/12 am.There were four climbers: me and father, John Snorri, and Juan Pablo. The other climbers (Sherpas and Europeans were already descending.

Unfortunately I was out of oxygen when we reached the Bottleneck. Also, I was not feeling well mentally. My father told me to use the supplementary oxygen I was carrying. I was trying to fix the mask regulator, but the oxygen started to leak, so I came back down.

I saw them the last time going up the Bottleneck. I left around 12 pm, and when I reached Camp 3, it was 5 pm. I contacted BC and told them that I have reached Camp 3 and that my father and the team are going for the summit. The summit team had no walkie talkie.

I started preparing water for them as I thought they would be back that night. Also, I left the light on in the camp for them. I didn’t sleep that night, and the next morning I contacted BC again and said that they still haven’t arrived. They told me not to go up again as the weather was not good and I was tired. They advised me to descend and that they would start a search mission soon. Unfortunately, the next day we were still without any contact with the summit team.

I think that they summited, and while they were descending, they had an accident, as the wind was very strong at that time.

Sajid also added that considering that they’ve been at that altitude on K2 in winter for three days, he accepts that their chances of survival are low.

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About the Author

Jerry Kobalenko

Jerry Kobalenko

Jerry Kobalenko is the editor of ExplorersWeb. Canada's premier arctic traveler, he is the author of The Horizontal Everest and Arctic Eden, and is currently working on a book about adventures in Labrador. In 2018, he was awarded the Polar Medal by the Governor General of Canada.

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UMK
UMK
25 days ago

So sad 🙁 It seems the team met an accident around the bottleneck. My prayers are with the families

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Tina L allington
Tina L allington
25 days ago

Wow. I feel bad for the poor kid. Hopefully God blesses them with a miracle 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

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Alok
Alok
25 days ago

In hindsight, its good Sajid’s mask regulator malfunctioned which made him abandon his quest. I feel for him and all grieving families. I am still holding out hope that the 3 climbers will come back down.

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Samson Simon Sharaf
25 days ago

I concur. Perhaps it was between the Bottleneck and forbidding seracs of the summit; something I commented earlier. Though Sajid could not, the base camp saw the bad weather. Very tragic.

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Daniel
Daniel
25 days ago

Are there any ideas how the could possibly survive or a scenario with a good outcome? My thoughts are with them. Let’s still hope for them and their families.

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Paul
Paul
25 days ago

Why you didn’t translate his last words from interview?
‘Search operation should be continued to trace the bodies, I do not think that they are alive at such an altitude of 8000m, it’s impossible to be alive for 2-3 days at 8000m’

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Farukh Ali
Farukh Ali
25 days ago

The reporter asked very insensitive question in the end that, do you think the rescue mission should stop? Sajid was quiet for 5 seconds and one could see that he was about to cry when answering that question. He said, it’s been more than 2 days so the chances of their being alive are almost zero at that altitude and low temperature – but if the rescue mission is to retrieve bodies then it can continue. The boy has been through a lot and you are asking him if we should stop the search for your father and other climbers… Read more »

K2 mountaineers fan
25 days ago

Salute to these brave hearts.
Ali Sadpara once said, ‘if I ever get stuck in the mountains, I will take shelter in the ice but I will never imagine to give up. (Farukh Ali)

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K2 mountaineers fan
25 days ago

But the story of brave Pakistani search climbers going up on foot remains to be discus.

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Al Daniel
Al Daniel
25 days ago

Atleast for 1 more day helicopter search should be continued. They maybe stuck in a tent somewhere just above camp 3 where Sajid was waiting. Even though chances are slim but they might still be waiting for right weather to continue their descent, but with time their resources must be ending up, and they are getting more prone to exposure risk. Don’t give up so easily. We might be witnessing a miracle. Good Bless all the people involved in the rescue and all the climbers stuck at k2 at this moment.

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BBS
BBS
25 days ago
Reply to  Al Daniel

This is my hope as well!

+1
Paul
Paul
25 days ago
Reply to  Al Daniel

The problem is that the last two days was relatively good for descent, tomorrow weather will be very bad with strong wind. If they not come down yet, is almost not possible that they will do anymore. Nobody could go up and check where they are or help them.

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Trish
Trish
24 days ago
Reply to  Al Daniel

I agree. There has been other amazing survival stories. This might be one yet! Don’t give up.

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ssd-sahin
ssd-sahin
25 days ago

just a point. I read translation from another translator. based on his translation, sajid was not using (nor carrying) O2 until bottelneck when he noticed he needed some extra O2. His father told him to use emergency O2 from Jon snorri. when he was assembling regulator with O2 bottle there was a leak in the system.
this is just translation from another translator. just some details are different.
Hoping the miracle….

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Pete
Pete
24 days ago

The accident scenario is the most plausible. Otherwise at least one of the three would have tried to get down during the recent better weather window. Hard to believe all 3 became incapacitated by the weather at the same time. We’re not talking amateurs here.
I hope I’m wrong, but the current facts state otherwise. Unclear if they summited or not. John was supposed to call his wife from the summit afaik. It matters little in the current situation; so sad…

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UMK
UMK
24 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Agreed. If they were stuck due to bad weather (one of them would have been down to a lower altitude by now ).

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Abbas Reza
Abbas Reza
24 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Pete i have a feeling they summitted but too late in the night, and have tried descending in the dark and at that point some accident has happened. I agree they are elite climbers and i wouldn’t assume they got incapacitated of their own doing. This has to be an act of nature at play on their descent (or ascent? who knows) .. the best account is by Sajid’s last contact at bottleneck which unfortunately will not be enough to piece anything together. Sajid said they weren’t carrying any phone or walkie talkie – but then John had promised to… Read more »

Tadeo
Tadeo
24 days ago
Reply to  Pete

I agree. An accident or very harsh conditions that no human can sustain for very long.. Is it likely an avalanche on the upper slopes of k2, once the serac and traverse are overcomed? I would say no, but i am no expert.. And if it were an ice fall from the serac, it would be very unlucky that it hit all three.. My feeling is that they summited late, and then got lost on their way back (maybe head torches did not work due to freezing temp as it happened for the trackers), and the conditions at night were… Read more »

Don Paul
Don Paul
24 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Good point, they would know the weather will get worse and worse and the longer they waited, the harder it would be. Waiting wouldn’t be a good plan. Sajid might know if they were roped together or not. I assume they would be. I think the fixed lines end at the bottleneck, maybe above there they all got blown off the mountain by the wind. Or maybe lower on the fixed lines, but it would have to take out the anchors and maybe multiple anchors to wipe it all off the mtn. The other two who died earlier, Sergi Mingote… Read more »

BBS
BBS
24 days ago

From heli can they see if ropes are intact or not? If serac fall would there be a trace of it? If tent is set up above c3 would it be visible? Is there additional snowfall?

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UMK
UMK
24 days ago
Reply to  BBS

The heli cant fly above 8000 meters where its expected the mishap happened and for the last two days visibility above 8000m has not been good. Very difficult to get the exact side of the story from an aeriel view (i believe). may be telescopic pictures could help as was the case in locating daniele nardi and tom ballard on nanga parbat.

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Tadeo
Tadeo
24 days ago
Reply to  UMK

What about satellite pictures? not sure if they can use them and at which resolution? as long as there are some moments with visibility of the top of the mountain..

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Abbas Reza
Abbas Reza
24 days ago

Heart breaking to hear Sajid’s interview. Considering how honestly he accepted that the lack of oxygen was causing him to feel mentally unwell – he still managed to climb down by making another 5-6 hours of descent – that is a commendable effort of keeping himself together when he had just left everyone up there and then to further come down to BC after 20 hours of staying up there is another feat. I am just wondering that if Sajid was feeling the effects at bottleneck mentally, wouldn’t Ali, John and Pablo be experiencing the same? I think they were… Read more »

Irfan ahmed
24 days ago

My prayers for them if they are alive k2 is a savage mountain chances are low but Allah will protect them

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[…] near the Bottleneck, short of the summit, Sajid Ali’s oxygen cylinder malfunctioned and he returned to base camp, while the others headed towards the summit. They lost contact with base camp late on […]

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[…] Botella, a poca distancia de la cumbre, el tanque de oxígeno de Sajid Ali se averió por lo que regresó al campamento base mientras los demás se dirigían a la cumbre. Perdieron el contacto con el […]

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