SKARDU: A foreign mountaineer has been presumed killed in an avalanche as Pakistani and foreign climbers aim for the K2 summit today.
K2 is the second highest peak in the globe and one of the most dangerous.
Sources say the climber disappeared into an avalanche after the team’s rope broke when they were on their way back from camp three.
More details of the accident were not yet available.
K2 is set amongst some of the most breathtaking landscapes the world has to offer — and some of the most dangerous.
John Snorri, a mountaineer from Iceland, and renowned Pakistani climber Muhammad Ali Sadpara had announced the K2 climb.
The adventurers’ first attempt to ascend K2 without oxygen had failed in January owing to harsh weather conditions.
The journey started on February 3. You can follow the climb here.
Muhammad Ali Sadpara had also tweeted about the climb. He had asked everyone to keep the mountaineers in their prayers.
He continued to give updates on the climb, with the last one from 12 hours ago as of Friday afternoon.
A team of climbers from Nepal became the first mountaineers to successfully complete a winter attempt on the summit of K2 last month.
The group comprised Nirmal Purja, Gelje Sherpa, Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma G, Sona Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Pem Chhiri Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Kili Pemba Sherpa, and Dawa Tenjing Sherpa.
Located on the Pakistan-China border, K2 is the only mountain over 8,000 metres that had not been summitted in the winter earlier.
The group of sherpas had paused at a point 70 metres short of the 8,611 metre (28,251 foot) peak to wait for each other before climbing into the world’s history books together at 4:56pm.
The team’s success was marred by the death on the mountain of renowned Spanish climber Sergio Mingote, who fell down a crevasse as he attempted to make his way down to Base Camp, Karrar Haidri, secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, had told Reuters.
Mingote, 49, had climbed seven mountains over 8,000 meters without supplemental oxygen in less than two years.
Around 49 climbers in several teams werep on K2 making attempts on the summit, weather permitting.
First climbed in 1954 by Italian Achille Compagnoni, K2 is notorious for its sleep slopes and high winds, and in winter its surface becomes slick ice.
Of the 367 people that had completed its ascent by 2018, 86 had died. The Pakistani military is regularly called in to rescue climbers using helicopters, but the weather often makes that difficult.
The previous highest altitude achieved on K2 in winter was 7,750 meters by Denis Urubko and Marcin Kaczkan, set nearly two decades ago.
The coronavirus pandemic had meant restrictions on travel severely impacted the traditional summer mountaineering season in the Karakoram range and Pakistan in particular, which is home to five of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres.