K2: Atanas Skatov Missing After Fall

Ali Saltoro of Alpine Adventure Guides in Pakistan reports that Atanas Skatov has fallen while descending from Camp 3 when a fixed rope snapped. Saltoro says that a Sherpa is looking for Skatov.

According to Bulgarian media, a rescue helicopter has been requested. Confirmation and further details are expected from Seven Summit Treks soon.

Atanas Skatov, from Bulgaria, was climbing with Dendi Sherpa. They climbed from Base Camp to Camp 2 on Wednesday and moved to Camp 3 yesterday.

After two weeks of wind and storms, the state of the fixed ropes has been a concern among climbers. Colin O’Brady reported that some sections of rope below Camp 3 had been buried by snow and that climbers (on their way up) had proceeded without clipping to them. In addition, there are plenty of dangerous old ropes along the Abruzzi Spur route.

As for the summit group, John Snorri’s wife, Lina Moey, says that there has been no connection since he left Camp 3 roughly 12 hours ago. However, this isn’t unexpected. “His plan was to call me when he reached the summit and I am hoping that plan will stick,” she said. The only other information has been provided by the team’s cook in Base Camp. He said the climbers were apparently at about 8,300m, on the upper part of the Bottleneck, traversing under the serac barrier.

Meanwhile, the bulk of the Seven Summit Treks group is still descending. According to his tracker, at 2 pm Pakistan time Colin O’Brady was approaching Camp 1.

Colin O’Brady’s tracker at 2 pm Pakistan time on February 5.