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February 10, 2021

Ali Sadpara: A gem gone missing in K2 snow

National

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February 10, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The search for missing Pakistani mountaineer Ali Sadpara and his team members Jon Snorri of Iceland and Juan Pablo Mohr of Chile could not be resumed on Tuesday due to harsh weather as the nation prayed for the safe return of climbers.

Sadpara and other team members went missing on February 5 during the expedition to K2.Home Secretary Gilgit Baltistan Muhammad Ali Randhawa said the search and rescue operation could not resume due to cloudy weather, snowfall and strong winds. He said a request for FLIR (forward-looking infrared cameras) with the latest avionics package had been sent to the Pakistan Air Force.

Sadpara has record of climbing eight highest peaks of the world and hoisting the Pakistan flag. Pakistan is home to five 8,000m peaks, including K2, Nanga Parbat, Broad Peak, and Gasherbrum I and II. The remaining are in Nepal and China.

Ali Sadpara celebrated his 45th birthday at K2 Base Camp on February 2 before he started the summit bid.

According to statistics of 8000ers.com, the achievements of Ali Sadpara are: Gasherbrum II in 2006, Nanga Parbat four time (2008, 2009, 2016 - First winter ascent - and 2017), GI in 2010, Broad Peak Fore summit in 2012, Broad Peak in 2017, K2 in 2018, and Lhotse Makalu and Manaslu in 2019. Ali’s son, Sajid says he and his father were climbing without supplemental oxygen but had a bottle in their pack for emergencies. They had no radio or satellite phone. He believes they had an accident on the descent in the Bottleneck, but he cannot be sure. In a world long dominated by Western climbers, Sadpara, like the Nepalese climber Nirmal “Nimsdai” Purja, who make the first successful winter ascent of K2 only weeks ago, stands out for his achievements. As well as Nanga Parbat in winter, he had climbed eight of the world’s 14 mountains over 8,000m, the Guardian reported.

As hopes get dimmer with each passing moment amidst K2’’s severe weather, strong snowy winds and minus 60 degree Celsius temperature, but the flame of Sadpara’’s love and passion will remain alive in the snowy mountains forever.