Sadpara, National hero of Pakistan: Rough weather conditions hamper search operation for missing climbers

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By Taj Nabi Khan

ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 (APP):The Pakistan’s most celebrated climber, Muhammad Ali Sadpara along with two other renowned climbers from Iceland and Chile: John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr were reportedly missing after losing their contacts with the base camp late on last Friday (Feb, 05) during their summit to the world’s second highest mountain of Karakoram range, K2 (28,250ft) in winter expedition 2021.

Sadpara’s son, Sajid Ali who had accompanied the climbers was asked by his father to return to the base camp after his oxygen mask failed to function. After reaching the base camp safely, Sajid Ali waited just below the Bottleneck and said while talking to media persons, “I think if they search for the bodies it makes sense to continue the operation, but their chances of surviving, if you are at 8,000 (metres) in winter for two or three days, a person’s chances of surviving are next no none.

” Muhammad Ali Sadpara, one of the most renowned High Altitude Porters (HAP) hailing from the remote village “Sadpara” near Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, is the only mountaineer of the country who had the privilege to climb and hoist Pakistan’s flag on the eight out of fourteen world’s highest mountain peaks.

 He has actively participated and guided a large number of climbers to help realize their dreams of scaling up high mountain peaks. Sadpara also remained part of the first-ever winter summit on Nanga Parbat in 2016.

 The winter climb to K2 has been harsh due to unpredictable weather conditions with winds blowing over 125mph and temperatures dropping to -60C. Unlike Mount Everest, the K2 is less travelled due to its changing and rough weather conditions.

The weather conditions continue to hamper the search operation for the missing mountaineers. It is pertinent to mention that a team of 10 climbers from Nepal last month has made history for the first time to scale the mountain in the winter expedition 2021. 

The climbers left the base camp on Wednesday (Feb 03) who lost their contacts with the base camp late on Friday (Feb, 05) and the search operation was launched on Saturday (Feb 06) to trace their whereabouts.

According to Alpine Adventure Guides’ tweet, the pilot of the search mission has been instructed to take the flight at maximum height as the temperature is very low and 35+KM wind above 6500m with oxygen bottles, high foods, masks and regulators for the expert porters.   

  Talking to APP, Executive Director Tourism, Skardu District, Abdullah Wahid said that the bad weather conditions have hampered the rescue and search operation for the missing climbers. 
He said, There was also risk in dispatching porters for their search due to bad weather conditions, he added.

Abdullah Wahid said, “After 16 to 20 hours, the survival does not seem possible in the tough terrain on Bottleneck due to extremely low temperature, visibility and high winds.” 

While talking to the news agency, Deputy Commission Shigar District, GB, Azeem Ullah said that the government was making all possible efforts in coordination with the relevant quarters to trace the missing climbers despite the challenging weather conditions and low visibility range. 
He said, “For this purpose, the government has deployed C-130 aircraft, army helicopters, expert porters, infrared cameras and other cutting edge technologies.” People were still praying for some miracle to happen, he added.