In a sad development, climbers Muhammad Ali Sadpara, 45, of Pakistan, John Snorri, 47, of Iceland, and Juan Pablo Mohr, 33, of Chile have been declared dead.
The climbers were last seen on February 5 around noon at the most difficult part of the climb: the Bottleneck. It’s a steep and narrow gully just 300 meters shy of the 8,611 meters (28,251 ft) high K2.
Sadpara’s 20-year-old son Sajid Sadpara and Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism Minister Raja Nasir Ali Khan confirmed the news in a press conference on Thursday.
Ali Sadpara was one of Pakistan’s most celebrated climbers who is now declared dead. Moreover, he had ascended eight of the world’s highest mountains. On K2, he was accompanied by his son Sajid, who was told by his father to climb down when an oxygen mask he was using malfunctioned.
Last month a team of 10 Nepali sherpas became the first people to summit K2 in the winter.
“The overwhelming love and support for the ‘national hero Ali Sadpara’ have given immense strength to me, my sister, brothers, and my mother. My family and I have lost a kindhearted person. The Pakistani nation has lost a brave and great adventurous individual who was passionate about climbing,” said an emotional Sajid.
Moreover, Sajid said he will follow his father’s footsteps and continue to climb.
Sajid said he believed his father and the other two mountaineers made it to the summit of K2. However, they met with an accident on their way down.
Statement on behalf of the families of foreign climbers
“All three were strong mountaineers — willing, able, and with the courage to make history by standing on top of K2 in winter conditions. Based on the last known contact by John Snorri’s telephone, we are confident they made it to the top of K2. Something happened on the descent,” said a statement by the families of foreign climbers.
“John Snorri’s family would like to extend gratitude to the authorities of Pakistan, Chile, and Iceland for their efforts and devotion for finding our loved ones. There is no doubt in our minds that the extent of research and technologies used in the search were unprecedented. Hopefully will improve the safety of future mountaineers along the way.
“The Pakistan Army has been extremely supportive in this difficult time, sharing resources and manpower. To the great people of the Pakistan Army, we say thank you for caring for Ali, John, and Pablo,” the statement added.
“The friendship between Ali, John, and Sajid is something we will cherish. As such, we are grateful for the safety and survival of Sajid.”
‘Ali, John, & Juan Pablo will live forever in our hearts’
“Our Icelandic hearts are beating with Pakistani and Chilean hearts. Thank you to all who have devoted your time to the search; taken the time to care by sending supportive words; and thoughts to us in these difficult times. Ali, John, and Juan Pablo will live forever in our hearts.”
“Also, as Juan Pablo Mohr’s family, we want to share the same feelings and gratitude for all who were involved in this historic operation, the Pakistan and Gilgit Baltistan governments, and the Pakistan Army…With a special mention of the Sadpara family, for all the support and friendship… and people from Skardu, whose love for Ali, JP, and John is now forever in our hearts. We will continue their legacy, together,” it added.
Meanwhile, the G-B government has recommended civil awards for Sadpara and his son. Besides, a financial package for the family and scholarships for his children would be announced. Besides, the recommendations included the renaming of Skardu Airport as Muhammad Ali Sadpara Airport. Moreover, a mountaineering school in Shigar will be named after Sadpara.
Story Credit: Dawn
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