Search called off for missing climbers in Pakistan

By AFP
Published: March 19, 2012

Climbers from Austria, Switzerland, Pakistan went missing in Karakoram mountain range on March 9. PHOTO: FILE

Pakistan has called off a search for three climbers – from Austria, Switzerland and Pakistan – who went missing in the Karakoram mountain range some 10 days ago, an official said on Monday.

Team leader Gerfried Goschl, climber Cedric Hahlen and high altitude porter Nisar Hussain, part of an expedition to Gasherbrum-1, the highest peak in the mountain range on the Pakistan-China border, have been missing since March 9.

Search operations have been hampered by bad weather.

“Army helicopters made another attempt at the 8,048 metre peak on Thursday when weather improved, but they did not spot anyone,” Colonel Manzoor Ahmed, President of the Pakistan Alpine Club, told AFP.

“It is also not possible to send a search expedition in this weather since it is winter,” he added.

“Unfortunately there is no hope left now as they cannot stay there for such a long time so the search has been called off,” he said.

The trio, who had two Thuraya sets, or satellite phones, were last spotted around 450 metres short of the summit on March 9.

Ahmed said the climbers may have been hit by an avalanche or strong winds.

Three Polish climbers who scaled the peak nearly two weeks ago and were stranded at a 5,100-metre base camp suffering badly from frost bite have been evacuated, Ahmed added.

The missing climbers had taken a new route from the southwestern ridge, while the group from Poland had gone via the normal northern route.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • IFTIKHAR-UR-REHMAN
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:40PM

    So sad

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  • Benji Mcpherson
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:31PM

    Maybe they got abducted by aliens?

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  • Khalad Goheer
    Mar 19, 2012 - 8:03PM

    Its indeed sad. I’m puzzled that these, presumably experienced mountain climbers, should have waited until after the season to attain this feat, dangerous as it was to begin with. Also does the govt. not have a policy of when climbers can attempt their hobby, in the spirit of protecting lives rather than give a free passport?

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  • Mohsin
    Mar 20, 2012 - 1:21AM

    We missing all mountain climbers especially Nisar Hussain who is from Gilgit Baltistan.Great climber!.he was the first man from baltistan who conquer k2. May Allah rest his soul ameen.Recommend

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