Search for John Snorri and Two Others Continues on K2

Vala Hafstað

Search for mountaineers John Snorri Sigurjónsson, from Iceland, Ali Sadpara, from Pakistan, and Juan Pablo Mohr Prieto, from Chile, will continue on K2 today, but nothing has been heard from them since early Friday morning, reports. K2 is the world’s second highest mountain, located on the border of China and Pakistan.

Sherpa Chhang Dawa reports on Twitter that he took part in the search this morning and flew on board a Pakistani Army helicopter to an elevation of more than 7,000 m. No trace of the mountaineers was found. Visibility at the top of the mountain is limited at the moment.

John Snorri, Ali Sadpara and Ali’s son, Sajid, all planned to summit K2 together, and Juan Pablo Mohr Prieto had joined them for the last stretch.

Sajid was forced to leave the other three at the so-called Bottleneck when his oxygen regulator failed. He made it back to safety and has participated in the search, which began Saturday.

A translation of Sajid’s statement was posted on the blog of mountaineer Alan Arnette:

“At about 8,200 meters, at the Bottleneck, I felt that I was not feeling well, I was lacking oxygen [up to that point Sajid and his father had ascended without using artificial oxygen]. My father told me to use the oxygen from the client [John Snorri] because there was enough.

“When I was putting the regulator on, the oxygen started to leak because it didn’t fit well. As I was not feeling well, my father told me to go down, while they continued up. At 12 o’clock I began to descend towards Camp 3, which I arrived at at 5 in the afternoon. I spoke to the base camp and explained that my teammates were trying to reach the top and that the next day we would descend together. They did not carry a satellite phone or walkie talkie.”

“I think they reached the summit,” Sajid’s statement continues. “They must have had the accident on the descent because at night it started to get very windy.” 

K2 is 8,611 meters (28,250 ft) high, and known for being one of the world’s most dangerous mountains to climb. In December, ten Nepali climbers became the first in the world to reach its summit in winter.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has spoken to Iceland’s Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson by phone and assured him that every effort will be made to find the missing mountaineers.

For further information, see the Explores Web and The Guardian

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