GILGIT: Rescuers have so far been unable to locate the three Iranian mountaineers stranded on Broad Peak for the last five days, Gilgit-Baltistan authorities said on Sunday.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Adviser to the G-B Chief Minister on Tourism Sadia Danish said that the Pakistan Army launched an operation to rescue the three climbers early on Sunday. Unofficial rescue efforts, however, began on Tuesday (July 16), the same day the team was stranded, according to tour operators and mountaineers.
“Rescuers have been unable to locate the Iranian climbers so far… they appear to have strayed from the traditional route,” Sadia said, adding that she was receiving regular updates from army officials regarding the operation and was in constant touch with the Iranian Embassy as well.
According to the chief minister’s adviser, the three Iranians – Aidin Bozorgi, Pouya Keivan and Mojtaba Jarah, all in their 20s – encountered difficulties while descending from 8,051-metre peak.
“Members of the team reached the Broad Peak summit on Tuesday, but were unable to make a normal descent,” she said. “The three climbers are currently stuck at 7,400 metres.”
Tour operators based around Broad Peak said the Iranian climbers were the first to reach the summit of Broad Peak through the Southwest Face route. They added they were supposed to come down via the traditional route and reach Camp 3 by evening the same day, but the descent proved a bit more complicated than expected.
“They could not descend using the traditional route and had to bivouac above Camp 3 for two nights,” a tour operator told The Express Tribune. He said two of their fellow Iranian mountaineers, Ramin Shojael and Afshin Saadi, were waiting for them at the camp.
The first attempt to conquer Broad Peak through the Southwest Face was made in 2009 by another group of Iranian mountaineers. The expedition was aborted, however, after some team members encountered health problems.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.