Two missing Japanese climbers spotted in Pakistan’s north

By AFP
June 14, 2024
The world's second largest mountain K2 in the Karakoram mountain range in Pakistan. — Reuters/File

SKARDU: Two missing Japanese climbers were spotted by helicopter on Thursday in Pakistan’s mountainous north, home to some of the world’s tallest peaks, but their condition remains unknown, a tour operator said.

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The Japanese climbers Ryuseki Hiraoka and Atsushi Taguchi were attempting to summit the 7,027-metre (23,054-foot) Spantik mountain in the Karakoram range before they went missing.

“The rescuers saw the climbers and recognised them by their clothes, but they could not determine their condition,” Naiknam Karim, the CEO of Adventure Tours Pakistan (ATP) which organised the tour, told AFP.

The two were spotted during a military helicopter search on Thursday that was called off due to poor weather conditions.“There has been no communication between the two Japanese climbers and officials at base camp since they started their expedition,” Karim earlier said.

“They were seen on June 10 (for the) last time at above 5,000 metres.”Another team of Japanese climbers raised the alarm on Tuesday after arriving at Camp 2, at around 5,650 metres, where Hiraoka and Taguchi were scheduled to be.The search is scheduled to resume on Friday.“An 8-member rescue team including five Japanese climbers will ascent on foot and search for them,” Karim Added.

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