Missing climbers on K2 declared dead

K2
The 8,611-meter-high K2 in the Karakoram

“Pakistan has lost a great mountaineer, my father and two other climbers are no more with us.” Sajid Ali Sadpara said today at a press conference in Skardu in northern Pakistan what had actually been in the air for days, but no one wanted to announce publicly. But as difficult as it is to admit it, 13 days without any sign of life and without any trace of the three climbers missing on K2 can only mean one thing: Pakistani Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Icelander John Snorri Sigurjonsson and Chilean Juan Pablo Mohr paid for their summit attempt on the second highest mountain on earth with their lives.

Continue reading “Missing climbers on K2 declared dead”

Summit attempt on Manaslu in progress

Manaslu (l.) and Pinnacle East (in spring 2007)

Conditions on Manaslu are not ideal, but when are they ever in winter? In the past few days it has been snowing on the eighth highest mountain on earth. And so the two Spaniards Alex Txikon and Inaki Alvarez, the Italian Simone Moro and four Sherpas, who support the Europeans, have to work their way up through partly deep fresh snow.

Continue reading “Summit attempt on Manaslu in progress”

Search on K2: Waiting for better weather

K2
The 8,611-meter-high K2 in the Karakoram (in summer 2004)

Bad weather on K2 prevents for the time being the further search for the three missing climbers Muhammad Ali Sadpara, John Snorri Sigurjonsson and Juan Pablo Mohr. The mountain rescuers were standing by, the Pakistani military said. As soon as weather permitted, the search would continue, it said.

Flights by rescue helicopters had been suspended on Tuesday because of adverse conditions – lack of visibility, strong winds. Imtiaz Hussein and Akbar Ali, two climbers related to Muhammad Ali Sadpara, also had to abandon their attempt to search for the missing on the mountain. Metereologists expect a window of good weather from the beginning of next week, with hardly any wind for days.

Continue reading “Search on K2: Waiting for better weather”

Hardly any hope left for the three missing climbers on K2

View from the helicopter on the summit zone of K2
View from the helicopter on the summit zone of K2

Giving up is not an option – not yet. For the third day in a row, Pakistan Army rescue helicopters searched the mountain flanks of the 8,611-meter-high K2 for the three climbers missing since Friday: Muhammad Ali Sadpara from Pakistan, John Snorri Sigurjonsson from Iceland and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile. The result as on the previous days: no trace of the trio.

Elia Saikaly, a photographer with Ali Sadpara’s expedition, reported from base camp that two Pakistani climbers – Imtiaz Hussain, a cousin of Muhammad, and Akbar Ali, a nephew of the missing Pakistani – wanted to ascend today to search for the three climbers. “We will climb as high as we can within our limits,” Imtiaz is quoted as saying. “There is hope, but we know the reality of the mountain, especially in winter.”

Continue reading “Hardly any hope left for the three missing climbers on K2”

Three climbers on K2 still missing

K2 summit zone
K2 summit zone (seen from the helicopter)

The great concerns about the Icelander John Snorri Sigurjonsson, the Pakistani Muhammad Ali Sadpara and the Chilean Juan Pablo Mohr continue. Again today, rescue helicopters of the Pakistani army flew twice to the 8,611-meter-high K2 in the Karakoram to search for the missing climbers on the flanks of the mountain: again no trace of the trio. They had last seen by Muhammad’s son Sajid Ali Sadpara on Friday midday local time at the so-called “Bottleneck”, a key point of the route at around 8,200 meters. Since then, there has been no sign of life from the three climbers.

Continue reading “Three climbers on K2 still missing”

Great concern for climber trio on K2

Rescue helicopter at K2
Pakistan Army rescue helicopter at K2

Alex Txikon sums it up: ” Waiting for the miracle is the only thing we have.” The Spanish climber follows the rescue operation on K2 in Pakistan at the base camp on the eight-thousander Manaslu in Nepal. For more than a day there has been no news or trace of John Snorri Sigurjonsson from Iceland, Pakistani Muhammad Ali Sadpara and Chilean Juan Pablo Mohr on the second highest mountain on earth.

The climbers had set out Friday from Camp 3 at 7,300 meters towards the summit. At 10 a.m. Pakistani time, Muhammad’s son Sajid Ali Sadpara left the trio because his oxygen regulator didn’t work. At that time, the climbers were at the so-called “Bottleneck” at around 8,200 meters. Sajid returned to Camp 3, where he waited for the other three until Saturday morning. But they did not come. Chhang Dawa Sherpa, expedition leader of Seven Summit Treks, said he finally persuaded Sajid to descend because he had been at high altitude for too long. The 22-year-old meanwhile reached the base camp.

Continue reading “Great concern for climber trio on K2”

Atanas Skatov fell to his death on K2

Atanas Skatov
Atanas Skatov (1978-2021)

Sad news from the second highest mountain on earth: Bulgarian climber Atanas Skatov fell to his death on K2 while descending from Camp 3. His body was recovered by the crew of a Pakistani rescue helicopter. Atanas was only 42 years old.

“While changing his safety from one rope to the other, seems some errors occured and he fell down,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa, expedition leader of Nepali operator Seven Summit Treks, let it be known from K2 base camp. “We had fixed the mountain with new ropes and it’s not broken.” Initial reports of Skatov’s fall had said a fixed rope had broken.

Atanas had arrived at Camp 3 at around 7,300 meters on Thursday, but had then decided to turn back – exactly why is still unclear. ” With humility and prayers to the King of the Mountain – Mount Chogori! God forward and we after him!,” Atanas had written before setting off for the summit attempt.

Continue reading “Atanas Skatov fell to his death on K2”

Winter expeditions: Before summit push on K2 – Nepalese give up on Manaslu

K2
The 8,611-meter-high K2 (in 2004)

It smells of further winter summit successes on K2. After ten Nepalese succeeded in the first winter ascent of the second highest mountain on earth on 16 January, at least about a dozen climbers reached Camp 3 at 7,300 meters today. From there, they planned to set off towards the summit on Friday. As before, meteorologists expect little wind for tomorrow.

Among the summit aspirants in Camp 3 are Chilean Juan Pablo Mohr and South Tyrolean Tamara Lunger, who want to ascend without bottled oxygen. Icelander John Snorri Sigurjonsson and the Pakistani father-son duo Muhammad and Sajid Ali Sadpara also want to push towards the summit on Friday – with bottled oxygen.

Continue reading “Winter expeditions: Before summit push on K2 – Nepalese give up on Manaslu”

Next summit attempt on K2

K2 Sherpas
Already en route: eight Sherpas from Seven Summit Treks

The other climbers who remained in the base camp after the first winter ascent of K2 are champing at the bit. In the next few days, the wind, which had recently made an ascent impossible, is expected to subside. For next Friday, meteorologists expect an almost windless day, as if made for a summit push. “This might be the last fair weather window until the February snowfall will start,” Chhang Dawa Sherpa, expedition leader of the Nepalese operator Seven Summit Treks, wrote today from base camp.

Continue reading “Next summit attempt on K2”

Manaslu in winter: Who will join?

Manaslu
The 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in western Nepal (in 2007)

The winter cards on Manaslu are being reshuffled. After a huge impassable crevasse at an altitude of about 6,200 meters stopped the climbers of the two winter expeditions, the Nepalese Vinayak Jay Malla announced a change of plans. Actually, the 32-year-old and his 29-year-old compatriot Tenji Sherpa had wanted to climb the eighth highest mountain on earth as a duo in alpine style. “Though disappointed to have to change our original approach, we have decided to wait here at Base Camp and will team up with some of the Nepali legends who recently conquered K2,” Vinayak let it be known.

Continue reading “Manaslu in winter: Who will join?”

K2 summit attempt abandoned, Everest expedition canceled

John Snorri (center) with Muhammad (l.) and Sajid Ali Sadpara (r.)
John Snorri (center) with Muhammad (l.) and Sajid Ali Sadpara (r.)

Actually, the Icelander John Snorri Sigurjonsson, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, the most successful Pakistani high-altitude climber, and his son Sajid Ali Sadpara had wanted to reach the 8,611-meter-high summit of K2 today. But the trio, who in December became the first winter team to arrive at the foot of the world’s second-highest mountain, abandoned their summit attempt and returned to base camp today.

According to John Snorri, the three climbers decided to rest below Camp 3 on Sunday after a 17-hour ascent. His GPS tracker showed the maximum altitude reached as 6,831 meters. “At that time it was clear to us the strong winds came sooner than expected,” the Icelander let it be known after returning. “This morning, when we were packing our tent, Ali’s backpack blew away and exploded. We managed to safe some of the things in the backpack but lost our summit masks.”

Continue reading “K2 summit attempt abandoned, Everest expedition canceled”

Winter expeditions on Manaslu and K2: Waiting for the weather window

Tenji Sherpa (l.) and Vinayak Jay Malla (r.) in Manaslu Base Camp
Tenji Sherpa (l.) and Vinayak Jay Malla (r.) in Manaslu Base Camp

“We are feeling good and very well acclimatized,” writes Tenji Sherpa, who plans to climb the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in western Nepal with his Nepalese compatriot Vinayak Jay Malla this winter. “Currently we are at base camp, a schedule rest day and (we are) waiting for the good weather window.” However, stormy high-altitude winds are forecast for the eighth-highest mountain on earth this weekend, which can reach hurricane force in the summit zone.

Continue reading “Winter expeditions on Manaslu and K2: Waiting for the weather window”

Dujmovits on Purja’s K2 winter success without breathing mask: “Nine witnesses at the summit”

Nirmal Purja on the summit of K2
Nirmal Purja on the summit of K2

With or without breathing mask? For two days, the mountaineering scene puzzled over whether anyone from the ten Nepalese climbers that succeeded in the first winter ascent of K2 on Saturday had ascended without bottled oxygen. Inquiries remained unanswered. Then, on Monday evening, Nirmal “Nims” Purja spoke out on his homepage and on social media.

Although he was not actually sufficiently acclimatized and had suffered frostbite from his first rotation ascent, he had taken a “calculated risk” in his summit push and had climbed without bottled oxygen, the 37-year-old ex-soldier of the British Gurkha Regiment wrote: “My self confidence, knowing my body’s strength, capability and my experience from climbing the 14 x 8000ers enabled me to keep up with the rest of the team members and yet lead.” The job of scaling K2 in winter without bottled oxygen was done, Nims said.

Continue reading “Dujmovits on Purja’s K2 winter success without breathing mask: “Nine witnesses at the summit””

US climber Alex Goldfarb is dead

Alex Goldfarb
Alex Goldfarb (1963-2021)

The American climber Alex Goldfarb-Rumyantzev has been found dead on the 6,209-meter-high Pastore Peak in the Karakoram. Apparently he fell to his death. This was reported by Laszlo Pinter, the expedition’s spokesman. A Pakistani rescue helicopter had flown several times today to search the mountain for the 57-year-old physician from Boston. Also aboard the helicopter were climbers John Snorri Sigurjonsson and Sajid Ali Sadpara, who want to scale K2 this winter.

First, the crew of the helicopter spotted traces of a tent in the crevasse-strewn terrain. During the third flight, they also found the climber’s lifeless body.

Continue reading “US climber Alex Goldfarb is dead”

Nepalese climbers succeed in first winter ascent of K2 – mourning for Sergi Mingote

K2
The 8,611-meter-high K2


The Nepalese teamwork was successful. Ten climbers from Nepal from three different teams reached together the 8,611-meter-high summit of K2 in the Karakoram in Pakistan at 5 p.m. local time: Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Dawa Tenzing Sherpa, Kilu Pemba Sherpa, Nirmal Purja, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Mingma David Sherpa, Gelje Sherpa, Pemchhiri Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa and Sona Sherpa.

As Chhang Dawa Sherpa, expedition leader of Seven Summit Treks , reported from the base camp, they had agreed to wait ten meters before the summit and then climb together to the highest point. Thus, the climbers from Nepal succeeded in making the first winter ascent of Chogori, as the local Balti people call the second highest mountain on earth. K2 was the last eight-thousander that had never before been scaled in the cold season, despite several attempts. “Finally we did it . We made the history in mountaineering field,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa posted on Instagram.

After the summit success in the late afternoon the descent into the darkness was awaiting. The Nepalese cannot take much time for this. After the almost windless summit day, the wind is supposed to freshen up again on Sunday.

Continue reading “Nepalese climbers succeed in first winter ascent of K2 – mourning for Sergi Mingote”