Bodies of missing climbers spotted on K2 mountain

AFP
Pakistan Published: Jul 27, 2021, 06:25 PM(IST)

A mountaineer at K2 (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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The trio lost contact with K2's base camp in early February, sparking a massive rescue effort that included military helicopters and planes.

The bodies of three mountaineers who died during a winter expedition on K2 mountain have been found months after they went missing while scaling the world's second-highest peak, officials said Tuesday.

The remains of Pakistani mountaineering legend Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Iceland's John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile were spotted Monday near "the bottleneck" -- a narrow gully just hundreds of metres from the summit. 

"We are now focusing on a strategy to bring the bodies to a point from where they could be airlifted," Ayaz Shagri, an official with the Alpine Club of Pakistan, told AFP.

"The bodies of the mountaineers are intact and frozen," Shagri added, saying the climbers' remains were at an altitude of 7,800 metres (25,600 feet).

"It is very difficult to bring the dead bodies down from this high altitude," said Karrar Haidri, also from the Alpine Club, adding that the military was helping with the operation.

The trio lost contact with K2's base camp in early February, sparking a massive rescue effort that included military helicopters and planes.

Sadpara's son Sajid is in the team coordinating the recovery effort, Shagri added.

The discovery of the bodies followed the death on Sunday of Scottish climber Rick Allen, who was killed after being hit by an avalanche.

Known as "the savage mountain", K2 has harsh conditions -- winds can blow at more than 200 kilometres per hour (124 miles per hour) and temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 Fahrenheit).

Unlike the world's highest peak Mount Everest, which has been scaled by thousands of climbers young and old, K2 is much less travelled.

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