Two New Zealander climbers, who went missing on Friday while ascending K2, are presumed dead, tour operators said on Monday.
Martin Walter Schmidt, 53, and his 25-year-old son Denali Walter Schmidt, were presumably hit by an avalanche on Friday night at Base Camp 3, 7,400m above sea level.
“Regrettably we have no option but to presume them dead. Our fears about the death of the New Zealanders were confirmed unfortunately by the high altitude porters who reached Base Camp 3 and found ice axes and crampons scattered there,” said Sher Ali, a manager at the Blue Sky Expedition, the company that organised the expedition to K2, the world’s second highest peak after Mount Everest.
The high altitude porters sent to search the Kiwi climbers reportedly reached
Base Camp 3 on July 28 in the afternoon and found their tent partially damaged, showing signs of damage by an avalanche.
Martin’s last radio communication took place at about 6:45pm Friday from the camp, which might have been hit by the avalanche that night as they slept in their tent, said Ali.
The father and son were part of a seven-member expedition organised by Blue Sky Expedition.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.