Search operation for missing US climbers ISLAMABAD: The search and rescue operation for two missing climbers, Kyle Dempster, 34, and Scott Adamson, 33, has been called off after no traces of the two men were found, the Alpine Club of Pakistan announced on Thursday.
“I knew Kyle Dempster personally. He was the toughest climber alive. But even someone as strong as him cannot last 18 days in a hostile environment such as that of the mountains in the Karakorum,” said ACP spokesperson Karrar Haidri.
The two American climbers went missing on August 22, while attempting to summit Ogre-II, a roughly 7,000 metre peak in the Karakoram Range.
The ACP said the two veteran climbers left base camp on August 21 to climb the north face of Ogre-II.
The two American climbers went missing on August 22 while attempting to summit Ogre-II, a 7,000 metre peak in the Karakoram Range
On August 22, their cook Abdul Ghafoor glimpsed their headlamps near the halfway point on their selected route.
After they were last spotted, a storm rolled in around the peak on August 23, diminishing visibility. The duo had set five days to ascend, capture the summit and descend the mountain on August 26.
On September 3, two military helicopters with Austrian mountaineer Thomas Huber on board as a spotter flew around the peak, performing thorough but ultimately unsuccessful attempts to locate the missing climbers, Mr Haidri said.
He explained that the search party and knowledgeable observers within the country, after receiving opinions from around the world, assessed that there remained little chance of finding the two men.
“Given the time that has lapsed and the continuous bad weather since they were last spotted going up the peak, the families of Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson have made the difficult decision to end the search effort,” Mr Haidri said.
He said the families were grateful for the support of the Pakistani government, and friends around the world who raised nearly $200,000 to fund the search effort.
According to the spokesperson, while local search parties had been asked to retreat, a few foreign climbers, such as Thomas Huber, were still hopeful about finding signs of the missing climbers.
“Other climbers on the mountain are continuing their attempts to capture the peak on the same route as the two missing Americans,” he said. “They hope to spot some evidence for what went wrong with Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson.”
According to the ACP, this was the second time the two climbers attempted to summit Ogre-II.
In 2015, Scott Adamson broke his leg after he fell some 30 metres and then slipped another 90 metres, while climbing. “The duo was forced to retreat after climbing roughly 6,600 metres,” Mr Haidri said.
The ACP said both mountaineers are strong climbers, backed by significant experience on difficult terrain with a reputation for endurance. Both climbers are celebrated extreme athletes for making first ascent.
In 2012, Kyle Dempster won his second Piolet d’Or when he established a new route while summiting the 7,285 metre Ogre-I.