Despite a last ditch attempt made on Friday to locate three Spanish climbers who went missing on their descent from Gasherbrum-I since Monday, Abel Alonso, Alvaro Paredes and Xevi Gómez have been officially pronounced dead.
A statement from the surviving members of the expedition and their camp confirmed on Friday.
"In a final attempt to locate our fellow alive, having no contact with them since the morning of day 22, and given the existing adverse weather during these days at altitude, we made a reconnaissance flight which confirmed our worst fears: the three above mentioned companions have died."
The reconnaissance flight was confirmed to The Express Tribune by Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) coordinator Karrar Haideri.
The statement was published on the blog of Alfredo Garcia, another member of the expedition who had been briefly missing before managing to return to the base camp with extreme frost bite.
The organiser of the expedition, Javier Garrido, had last made contact with the mountaineers on Monday, when they were sheltered close to one of the camps.
The three missing climbers had succeeded in climbing the summit of Gasherbrum-I, but lost their way during descent. Alfredo Garcia, who happened to take refuge at Camp 3 on account of frostbite instead of pushing for the final summit, was subsequently rescued on Thursday.
"One of the four mountaineers, who was lost, managed to find the path and returned to base camp," president of the Alpine Club Pakistan (ACP) Manzoor Hussain had told AFP on Tuesday. "The other three disappeared. No one knows where they are. It appears they were caught in a snow storm."
Officials had warned that the stormy weather prevalent in the area would make search operations very difficult for rescue helicopters.
Earlier this week Pakistani authorities also abandoned the search for three Iranian mountaineers who disappeared while attempting to scale Broad Peak.
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