K2 Area Search: Signs of Missing Climber Spotted Amid Crevasses

Two helicopters left Skardu at nine this morning to search  6,209m Pastori Peak for Alex Goldfarb, who has been missing since Saturday. The Askari Aviation pilots had to abort the first flight because of high winds. After waiting out the bad weather and refueling, they continued to K2 Base Camp and picked up John Snorri and Sajid Sadpara, as well as an army liaison officer, the missing climber’s communications person, Laszlo Pinter, reported.

After three passes over the area where Goldfarb was last seen, including following his planned route as high as possible, there is no good news to report. The upper sections of the mountain are full of crevasses, the pilots said, and they have spotted remains of a tent, but no traces of Goldfarb himself. “The whole area around is full of crevasses,” said Pinter. A helicopter has gone up again for a closer look at the presumed campsite.

Goldfarb and partner Zoltan Szlanko were climbing Pastori Peak to acclimatize for an alpine-style ascent of Broad Peak. Falling rocks and the numerous crevasses discouraged Szlanko, who turned around while Goldfarb opted to continue on his own. When Goldfarb failed to return by nightfall, as agreed, a search was initiated. It is not known whether the climbers spoke by radio after separating.

John Snorri at K2 Base Camp some weeks ago. Photo: John Snorri


John Snorri and Sajid Sadpara have postponed their K2 climb to help Szlanko with the search. The team’s expedition operator, Jasmine Tours, has sent two more men to the Pastori base camp in case they’re needed. Both are from nearby Shimshal and are highly experienced at altitude. They are supposed to join Snorri’s K2 expedition later as his film crew.