Says rescue teams should look for bodies now
Sajid Ali Sadpara, the son of Pakistani mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpar, has said that he waited 20 hours for his father and two other climbers before descending K2.
Muhammad Ali Sadpara, John Snorri from Iceland, and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile went missing while attempting the winter K2 summit. They have been missing for over two days now. The Pakistan Army is currently carrying out a search operation.
He did not join his father on the ascent to K2 peak because of a problem with his oxygen tank regulator.
Sajid recalled that he saw his father last at the Bottleneck of the mountain with his companions. "The last time I talked to my father he told me to join him in the ascent to the peak of K2," he said.
Between 20 to 25 other mountaineers attempted one last time to summit the world's second-highest mountain during the winters. Most climbers returned midway. "It was just me, my father, John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr who decided to continue," Sajid revealed. "When we reached Camp 3, I decided to quit the climb because of my health conditions and a problem in the oxygen regulator."
He added, "I think that they reached the peak of the mountain as it was just a few meters away. They might have met an accident on the way back to Camp 3."
Sajid said that the chances of finding his father alive are slim now because it has been over three days. "The winds on the mountain are very strong and the temperature has dropped to -60 degrees. In such conditions, a person can survive for a maximum a day."
The Pakistan Army launched a search mission to rescue the missing men on Friday. A five-member squadron has been formed and two AS350 Écureuil helicopters have been assigned. On Sunday, the search operation was halted after the weather at the base camp worsened.
"I have told the rescuers to now continue the operation to find the bodies," Sajid said.
On the other hand, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has assured that the Pakistan Army is doing everything to find the climbers. President Arif Alvi and the entire nation has commended Ali Sadpara for his passion and love for the country and have requested prayers for his safe return.
Sajid revealed that his father, who has summitted Nanga Parbat and multiple other mountains, had one dream: to hoist Pakistan's flag on K2. "He always told me it's our mountain and Pakistanis should be the ones to climb it."
A team of Nepali climbers made history on K2 last month when they became the first to scale it in winter.
Conditions on K2 are harsh: winds can blow at more than 200 kilometres per hour (125 miles per hour) and temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 Fahrenheit).
With Pakistan’s borders open and few other places to go, this winter an unprecedented four teams totalling around 60 climbers have converged on the mountain, more than all previous expeditions put together.
Unlike Mount Everest, which has been scaled by thousands of climbers young and old, K2 is much less travelled due to its tough conditions.