K2: Missions Accomplished

Today’s summiters are back in their tents, mainly in Camp 3, with a few in Camp 2. No-O2 climber Niels Jespers intended to reach Camp 3 for the night.

All 21 members of Madison Mountaineering reportedly summited. With the Pioneer Adventure team (including Sherpa and Pakistani staff), the Pakistani climbers, and some independents, that’s almost 50 people. It could be a seasonal record for K2.

Fake news

Meanwhile, unchecked reports, fake news, guessing, and misunderstandings continue to buzz around everything related to Sajid Sadpara and his attempt to recover his father’s remains. What we can confirm is that the young Sadpara moved the remains of Ali Sadpara away from the main route. Some reports say back to Camp 4. Then he performed a religious ceremony to honor Ali and set off for Base Camp.

Sajid’s official account reads: “I have secured the body of our hero at C4. An Argentinian climber has been a great help in bringing the body [from] above the Bottleneck to C4. I offered Fatih & recited Holy Quran on behalf of the whole nation. Secured place with Pakistan flag.”

The resting place of Ali Sadpara, marked with the flag of Pakistan. Photo: @sajid_sadpara


We know of no Argentinian climber currently on K2. Hugo Ayaviri is on the mountain and summited — reportedly without supplementary O2 —  earlier today, but he is from Bolivia. Again, details will become clearer once the climbers return to Base Camp. Tonight, Sajid and his team are resting in Camp 3.

Ali Porik confirms that some personal items have been retrieved for the remains of the fallen climbers. These include at least one InReach device and possibly cellphones and cameras. The data on these devices could shed light on the last hours of the missing climbers, including whether they reached the summit or not. On returning to Camp 4, Elia Saikaly texted: “Mission Accomplished. Mind Blown.”

It remains to be seen whether Pakistani army helicopters will be able to retrieve the bodies. They can sling them by long lines from Camp 2, but hardly any higher. All the families agree that they wanted their loved ones back home, if possible, but any recovery will be hazardous, difficult, and costly.