Winter K2 Update: Summit Push Update #8

Photo of the Ice Serac and Bottleneck are on K2 taken from Pakistani military helocpterr on February 7 2021 during unsuccessful search for missing climbers.

Latest as of 3.30 am, Monday, February 8, 2021, – K2 Time: John Snorri, Ali Sadpara, and Juan Pablo (JP) Mohr Prieto remain missing with no trace.

Sajid Ali Sadpara
Sajid Ali Sadpara

We are learning more about what happened at the Bottleneck directly from Ali’s son, Sajid. Of note he said he and his father were climbing without supplemental oxygen but had a bottle in their pack for emergencies. Also when he left the three, they had no radio or sat phone. He felt they summited and had an accident on the descent in the Bottleneck, but he is not sure.

There is no official communication from Snorri or Ali or JP’s home teams to the public.

Sajid Ali Sadpara made this statement from Skardu where he was flown by an army helicopter. He went up with the helicopter to approximately 7800 meters but found not signs of the missing climbers: (thanks to Desnivel for the translation)

Pakistani Ali Madad (*), who lives in Tenerife, has translated the statements of Sajid Ali upon his arrival in Skardu:«We started the ascent at 11 or 12 at night. As we ascended, we passed the groups of the Sherpa expedition descending. At about 8,200 meters, at the Bottleneck, I felt that I was not feeling well, I was lacking oxygen [up to that point Sajid and his father had ascended without using artificial oxygen]. My father told me to use the oxygen from the client [John Snorri] because there was enough.

When I was putting the regulator on, the oxygen started to leak because it didn’t fit well. As I was not feeling well, my father told me to go down, while they continued up. At 12 o’clock I began to descend towards Camp 3, which I arrived at at 5 in the afternoon. I spoke to the base camp and explained that my teammates were trying to reach the top and that the next day we would descend together. They did not carry a satellite phone or walkie talkie.

I made tea and hot water and then left a light on so they could find the store. I was all night without sleep, waiting for them.In the morning I called base camp to say that no one had arrived and the leader told me that, please, I had to go down because the weather was going to get worse, I was tired and it could be worse for me. He told me that he was going to send a rescue group from base camp.He told me that he was going to send a rescue group from base camp.He told me that he was going to send a rescue group from base camp.

I think they reached the summit. They must have had the accident on the descent because at night it started to get very windy. They have been eight thousand meters for two days, at that height in winter I have no hope that they are alive. There are very few.

If possible, I would greatly appreciate doing another search to find my father’s body.

Sajid Ali ends by thanking everyone: the families of Juan Pablo and Jon, the Pakistani army, the Sherpa expedition, the other mountaineers, the media….

(*) Pakistani Ali Madad, who has translated Sajid’s words, is a native of the Hunza Valley. For 7 years he has lived in Tenerife with his wife, Sonia Fariña, whom he met in Pakistan, and his daughter Naia.

Dawa of SST gave this update on today’s helicopter search:

… second flight in the afternoon by 2 Army helicopters (along with Sajid and I) made a search (with an aerial reconnaissance) for an hour up to its maximum limit: 7800m to locate missing climbers Ali, John Snorri, and Juan Pablo Mohr in K2. We went through the Abruzzi and other routes, we had less weather visibility above C 4, unfortunately, no trace at all. The wind above 6400m is still 40KM.

Apparently they look at both routes, Abruzzi and Česen, because they could have come down the Česen.

This is the video, of Skardu TV: 

Sajid Ali Sadpara interview on the K2 missing climbers courtesy of Skardu TV.


He posted several pictures taken from the helicopter. Click the link to view them all.

Photo of the Ice Serac and Bottleneck are on K2 taken from Pakistani military helocpterr on February 7 2021 during unsuccessful search for missing climbers.
Photo of the Ice Serac and Bottleneck are on K2 taken from Pakistani military helocpterr on February 7 2021 during unsuccessful search for missing climbers.


There is no 100% confirmed news if they summited, their current status or plans. The three: John Snorri, Ali Sadpara, and Juan Pablo (JP) Mohr Prieto, are the only climbers on K2 this Sunday. JP was climbing without supplemental oxygen.

They left Camp 3 for their summit push around 23:00 on Thursday, February 4, 2021. They were last seen over a day ago. Now, It’s 3 am Sunday morning, February 7, 2021. Computer generated weather forecast continue to call for extremely cold have the summit temps at -42F/-41C with a wind chill at -80F/-62C.

The three along with Ali’s 22-year-old son, Sajid Ali Sadpara left Camp 3 around 23:00 Thursday night. They planned on moving fast, hoping to summit around  14:00 on Friday, just before the next wave of high winds were expected to hit the summit. They reached the Bottleneck when Sajid had a problem with his oxygen regulator and had to return to Camp 3. He returned alone, while the three men, presumably, continued higher. This was the last repot of their status, now close to two days ago. Sajid waited at Camp 3 for over a day. He did a short search but with no O’s and not acclimatized without it, it was very dangerous. He found no trace or saw headlamps on his sortie.

The only K2 summits thus far in the winter of 2020/21 was by the team of nine Sherpas and one Majar on January 16, 2021. Nirmal Purja Purja Purja Magar summited without supplemental oxygen accompanied by his nine teammates. They held hands and stood on the summit together singing the Nepali National anthem.

There have been two deaths on K2 this season, Spanish mountaineer Sergi Mingote who fell between Camp 1 and ABC then Bulgarian climber Atanas Skatov who fell just below Camp 3. Another climber, Russian/American Alex Goldfarb perished while acclimatizing for Broad Peak on nearby Pastori Peak.

K2 routes
K2 Routes: Abruzzi and Česen


  • Dec 5, 2020 – John Snorri Sigurjonsson team (John Snorri Sigurjonsson, Muhammad Ali Sadpara and Sajid Ali Sadpara aka Snorri’s’ team) arrives at Base Camp. He had hired Muhammad Ali Sadpara and Sajid Ali Sadpara to support his climb
  • Dec 13 – Snorri’s team fixed 600-meters of fixed rope on the lower part of K2 above Advanced Base Camp on the Abruzzi Spur route
  • Dec 17 – Snorri’s team finishes fixing the rope from ABC to C1
  • Dec 20 – Mingma G and his two Sherpa teammates fix the lines to C2
  • Dec 27 – Snorri’s team does first acclimatization rotation to C1 at 19,965’/6050m
  • Dec 29 – Snorri’s Team at C2 and talks about steep ice and rockfall plus high winds and very cold.
  • Dec 29 – Mingma G’s team fixes the rope to near the top of the Black Pyramid around 7,300-meters.
  • Dec 30 – Snorri’s team returns to BC
  • Dec 30 – All of the Seven Summits Trek’s 40+ person team is now at Base Camp
  • Jan 3, 2021 – Snorri’s Team climbs to C2 at 22,110’/6700m
  • Jan 4 – Snorri’s team returns to K2 Base Camp at 18,650ft/5650m and is held there by poor weather
  • Jan 10 – Big winds destroy C2 blowing away a lot of gear for all all teams
  • Jan 13 – Snorri’s team climbs from BC to C2 in one push for more acclimatization
  • Jan 14 – Nirmal Purja Purja Purja and Mingma G join teams to fix ropes to 7600-meters, near traditional C4
  • Jan 15 – Snorri’s team tags C3 at 23,760’/7200m and returns to C2. They choose not to join the K2-Ten on their successful summit push and return to BC
  • Jan 16 – The K2-Ten achieve the first winter summit of K2
  • Jan 16 – Sergi Mingote falls to his death while descending between C1 and ABC
  • Jan 17 – Alex Goldfarb dies after falling in a crevasse on Pastore Peak while acclimatizing for Broad Peak with Zoltán Szlankó
  • Jan 17 – The Snorri team goes to Pastore to help search for Goldfarb.
  • Jan 24 – Snorri’s team launches first summit push in a narrow weather window. They reach C3 but quickly return to BC due to high winds at 6800-meters
  • Jan 30 – John tells me from Base Camp, “We 3 are pretty sure if there will be any chance to reach the summit in this window we will. And we are looking forward to stand on the summit with the Pakistani flag and Icelandic flag Want to make our nations proud 🇮🇸
  • Feb 2 – John posts, “We are aiming for the summit on the 5th February , Friday morning at noon PKT. On the 3rd at 04.00 PKT we will start our climbing and go from base camp to camp 2, our C2 is located under House of chimney. We will rest there over night. Next morning on the 4th at 08.00 PKT we go from C2 up the Black Pyramid to regular camp 3 and rest there over the day. The same day 4th of January we start our summit push at 21.00 PKT and are aiming it will take us 15 to 16 hours to get on the summit. Today I am feeling emotional and excitement towards the summit push, we have been here for long time. It has filled our hearts with gratitude to hear about all the support we have from people all over the world. Hopefully this will be our window to make it to the winter summit of K2.”
  • Feb 3 – Seeing another window, albeit also narrow, Snorri’s Team return to C2
  • Feb 4 – Snorri’s team climb to C3 along with almost 20 other people seeking the summit. A lack of tents forces Snorri and team to share their tent with others, in some cases having six people in a three-person tent.
  • Feb 4 – It’s reported Snorri’s Team left C3 for the summit around 23:00 on February 4, 2021. Apparently JP joins the three, after his partner Tamara Lunger turns back when not feeling healthy enough to climb. It’s now a four person team. The Sadpara’s and JP are not climbing with supplemental oxygen. It’s unclear if Snorri was on O’s but he wanted to attempt without. Their GPS tracker showed a very erratic track but this is not usual for these devices. Eventually the batteries give out in the cold and stop sending a signal. (The device tells the battery status with each transmission)
  • Feb 4 – High winds and extreme cold cause most of the SST climbers to return to Base Camp, many report frostbite.
  • Feb 4 – Dawa Sherpa declares that no one from the SST current summit push will summit K2 this time
  • Feb 5 – Bulgarian climber Atanas Skatov dies from a fall just below C3
  • Feb 5 – Around 10 am, Sajid’s started using supplemental oxygen due to fatigue but his regulator was not working properly. Unknown if it was  equipment failure or improperly attached to the cylinder which is common, especially at altitude. This was the last report of seeing Snorri, Ali and JP. They were in the Bottleneck.
  • Feb 5 – Sajid’s leaves C3 for a brief search for his father and the missing climbers but sees no evidence or even headlamps in the dark
  • Feb 6 –  Sajid returns to Base Camp at the urging of Dawa and other people, concerned for his safety.
  • Feb 6 – Two Pakistani military helicopter (they always fly in pairs due to the ongoing conflict with India) reach 7,000-meters, between C2 and C3 but find nothing. They return to Skardu due to high winds
  • Feb 7 – Another helicopter with a higher operating ceiling up to 7,800-meter searches near K2’s shoulder but cannot sight the climbers or evidence. Photos are taken to be inspected at Base Camp and elsewhere looking for evidence fo the missing climbers.
  • Feb 7 – Sajid gives an interview to Skardu TV saying he doesn’t believe they survived but they summited and an accident occurred in the Bottleneck. He asks for the search to continue to bring his father’s body back home.

At this point future search plans are unclear given the poor weather on K2. Also unknown are the plans for the remaining people at K2 Base Camp. The next time people will return to K2 will be for the 2021 summer season in July.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything


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41 thoughts on “Winter K2 Update: Summit Push Update #8

  1. Hi.
    It is the first time that I comment on this site and I do it because I am very interested in this story.
    I followed the events of this expedition and I would like to talk about something not in the timeline. According to the statements of the wife of Sadpara’s manager (released on twitter and youtube), Snorri’s satellite phone attempted to connect to the network, it is not known whether for an incoming, outgoing call or something else, on 5 February at 7 pm. Is that true? If so, it would mean that at least 5-6 hours after the last contact with Sajid, the satellite phone was still working. Is it possible that only at that time they reached the summit and tried to report it?
    Snorri’s family also shared that based on their last contact with the satellite phone, they think the summit has been reached.
    I think Sadpara’s manager and his wife are reliable sources, but for some reason the reporters keep saying that none of them had a satellite phone or that they didn’t work.
    Perhaps someone here can find more detailed information, especially on the Thuraya’s “connection time”.
    Is it possible to track a satellite phone? I don’t know if it’s possible or if it’s accurate.
    But it seems strange to me that no one has tried to call them from morning until evening. Could it be a false contact? Could it be that Snorri simply tried to turn on the phone in the evening, to ask for help or to report something?
    I apologize if I got stuck on this phone, but nobody talks about it and it seems to me a pretty important detail.

    1. Welcome Roberta and thanks for your comment. All I can add to your question is that there was a report of Snorri’s sat phone connecting to the Thuraya network for a split moment then disconnecting. I’ve experienced this often on my own climbs when the batteries have sufficient power to boot the phone up but then shuts back down as more power is required to transmit thus unable to complete a “handshake” with the network, or even send and receive enough data to accurately track the location or even power back up all together. I usually carried two batteries but in their situation with the extreme cold, most likely both batteries failed.

      As for someone calling them, usually climbers will leave their phone off to save power so an incoming call would not have been picked up. Sat phone’s use model is extremely different than our cell phone with access to power to recharge the batteries.

      Finally, the reason I didn’t talk much about this, is I don’t like to speculate. I suspect other reporters either missed this nuance or didn’t fully undertand the situation or just mentioned it in passing as the outcome became clear.

  2. Alan,

    Sajid Sadpara starts his statement, “We started the ascent at 11 or 12 at night. As we ascended, we passed the groups of the Sherpa expedition descending. At about 8,200 meters, at the Bottleneck, I felt that I was not feeling well, I was lacking oxygen.”

    This is the first I have heard about a Sherpa expedition being higher on the mountain than the Sadpara/Snorri group and them passing each other. Was the Sherpa expedition ahead fixing ropes in the bottleneck?

    Assuming Sajid is correct and they were ascending the bottleneck at about 10 a.m., what time might they reasonably have achieved the summit?

    Thanks very much. Your blog is outstanding and the film about your K2 climb is great.

  3. The conquering of K2 winter is a terrible story right now with the two deaths and the actual missing of the three climbers. Forecasts shows a new weather window opening up from sunday 14 / monday 15 with 4-6! days of sunny weather with low summit winds. Hopefully they can find the climbers for their families. This is such a tragic end, it is heartbreaking. 🙁

  4. I’ve never climbed an 8000m. Likely never will. Huge respect for those that attempt, whether successful or not. The most important part of the exercise is the ability to try again. It is heartbreaking to think of the families of the five people who passed on K2 plus Alex Goldfarb this winter. The mountaineering community shouldn’t consider establishing ‘standards’ (probably more conservative than some would want) where risk is minimized. It wouldn’t eliminate tragedies, but hopefully would give climbers reference points upon which to make decisions. For some reason 2020 Winter K2 has hit me worse than most of the Everest tragedies. God bless to all.

  5. Hi Alan,

    Why did Snorri and team not try to summit along with the Sherpas during that summit window, given how favorable the weather was. Were they not sufficiently acclimatized or any other reason? They could’ve followed the Sherpas team at their own pace and potentially summited, preventing the tragedy unfolding now…



    1. Regardless, learning of Cala Cimenti’s death is futher saddening. Only a couple of days ago did Cimenti share a heartwarming message on his Instagram wishing for Ali’s return, and he’s now no more. This season has seen many strong, professional climbers perish. I share my deepest condolences to all loved ones of the fallen climbers. The world mourns with you.
      I wish Imtiaz and Akbar the best as they climb K2 in search of Ali, John, and JP.


    2. I’ve been watching some of the interviews Nirmal Purja Purja Purja and the 2 Minmgas gave to Nepalese shows and they mentioned some things about their push that might be relevant.

      First thing Nirmal Purja Purja Purja mentioned was that they had their own Nepalese Meteorologist whose predictions ended up being more accurate than the ones the others were following.

      And Mingma G also talked about how once they formed the all Nepalese team, they were dead set on being the first ones to summit. Nirmal Purja Purja Purja suggested they speed up their ascent attempt so the others couldn’t catch up (since they were the ones setting ropes above camp 2) but Mingma G talked him out of it and wanted to go at their own pace for reasons of safety and maximising their chances at summit.

      When they did do their summit push all 3 mentioned that windspeed was ideal at summit but very strong below 7300m and that meant the others couldn’t catch up to where they were.

      I’m assuming here but finally Mingma G and John Snorri might still have had bad blood between the two of them from the failed attempt from last year. Ali Sadpara was liked and respected by all the Sherpas and no doubt Nirmal Purja Purja Purja was ready to work with others but in the end they decided to 10 man push and not wait for others and I can’t blame them.

  6. Alan –

    How are you doing handling this story? Every update is professional and factual even while emphasizing that we don’t know all the facts. I know how bothered I, a stranger am with these lost climbers snd the son climbing down leaving his father. I can only guess how the experienced mountaineers like you react to these losses.

    You don’t have to answer but just wanted you to know that your readers care about your well-being while you’re at home as we care about the well-being of these mountaineers.

    I guess I just want to say that I wish you well and I’m sure your other readers do as well. The job you’ve taken on is not easy but is much appreciated.

    I hope I haven’t commented too many times..No one else around me follows these stories.

    Anyway thank you again and take care

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for your concern, and your comments. I’ve been climbing and covering climbing since 1997. I’ve buried teammates on the mountain and morned other friend’s loss from home. My family has been through periods of uncertainty about me, only to hear my voice on the other end of a satellite phone and hugging when I stepped off the airplane.

      Yet, covering these types of tragic stories brings back all the emotions, from grief to sadness to empathy for the families and friends. I try not to speculate as it serves no genuine purpose. I know families read these stories, searching for hope and comfort. Yet they also deserve objective reporting of the known facts. I do my best, sometimes clumsy, but I try to honor all involved and respect the spirit of adventure epitomized in every mountaineer who perishes on their quest.

      Finally, as to why I do this? Well simple, to honor my mom, Ida, who died from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2009. Occasionally, I’ll add a link for donations to research oriented nonprofits (zero ever to me). Ida was special as is mountaineering to me. This intersection of purpose and passion give me strength each day.

      Thanks for asking.

      Climb On
      Memories are Everything

      1. Your commitment to Alzheimer’s inspired me to action. I donated a DNA sample to the group that collects them and I have donated what I can on your climbs.

        I’m sure I am not alone. So many people read here and never comment. You are reaching a large crowd with your work.

        Thank you again

  7. Alan
    Thanks for your reporting – and support for Alzheimer’s.

    Is it strange to you that in K2 the three climbers didn’t have a radio? Is that unusual? It seems that on other climbs (Everest) the reporting suggests that everyone has one.

  8. Guys, sorry about the off topic. I messaged Alan as he’s one of the most informed about mountaineering, but he’s not getting any msn msgs. I’d like to ask a question about a climber that did a very late summit some years ago (I guess it was in the 90’s) and died in the descent, close to the top, where he was found entangled with the ropes. The person who found him also found his camera and later checked the photos that proved the summit by dusk. He was happy, smiling.. and died a few moments later. I read that story and I wanted to show it to another mountain stories fan, who is a friend of mine, but I just can’t find it again.. can anyone help me out? What was the name of the climber? I guess he was american. I think he’s one of the most known Everest deaths that exemplifies the traditional summit fever, that’s why I wanted to read it again and show to the friend. We’ll probably never know, but the last words of the three climbers noted a huge determination on them to go up until the top, no matter what.. no one is talking about it, but wasn’t this a typical case of summit fever too? I know they’re really experienced, but those last words seemed too obstinated..

  9. Alan, I can imagine the death of Sergi and Atanas, and the presumed death of those three climbers, must have left a big impression on all climbers in BC. Some of them already left, but most of them are still on the mountain. Do you have any idea wether it’s “done” for them as well or will they wait for the next good weather window and keep their hopes up for another summit attempt?

    PS: I cannot imagine the grief Tamara Lunger must have gone through, losing so much in a single expedition. 🙁

  10. At about the time the four climbers started their ascent ( 10 pm on Thursday the 4th ) , there was a 4.5 earthquake in China, located approximately 80 miles NNE of K2. I know is not a huge quake, but I wonder if it may have been strong enough to disturb the serac area , consequently creating a collapse that might have involved them in the following hours….

    1. Very interesting your news about the earthquake, it feeds into my thinking around the question why they seem to have disappeared ALL THREE AT ONCE. I was thinking of an avalanche having swallowed them on their way back down, as they might have been hurrying because of the weather and therefore taken routes they normally wouldn’t … My only other explanation for this obvious “all three at once” phenomenon was a makeshift bivouac in a crevasse or snow cave. And yes, a serac collapse could indeed have created a havoc of this kind …

    2. I just checked and that earthquake does not list Pakistan/Karakoram area as affected (it does list Nepal) – so who knows, what they mean by affected .. maybe internal shockwaves did reach ..

      My only assumption is a freak accident (whether on the way to summit or on return) – i have my doubts them reaching the summit just by time calculation of it being in the night, after sunset – or if they did – that’s caused the turn of events – turning back in the night. Quite possible they took refuge and a serac fell right on top. What i’m also not understanding is the lack of any communication equipment (no walkie talkie or satellite phone, no lights, no batteries) – i’m not sure what would work up there but i don’t know why these were not charged/spares kept or carried on such a dangerous summit.

      I’m sure their families have more questions than us .. but Sajid’s last contact is the end of the factual story .. anything after that is mere speculation. Hope they have rested in peace.

      1. In Sajid’s statement, he mentioned (at least it reads so in the translation Alan posted above) that the three didn’t take radios or sat phones as they continued their summit push. He must have taken them back with him to C3, which I’m assuming is how he was then able to contact base camp. That’s a decision I don’t really understand, in my mind it would have made more sense for the summiteers to take the coms equipment with them in case of emergency.

        And the fact that they were hours behind the pace set by the Nepali summiteers is also alarming, seeing as how the Nepalese group set that pace whilst breaking trail and fixing ropes. If anything I’d have thought the three would have been faster with the ropes already being fixed to the summit, or at least able to keep the previous pace.

        So many unanswered questions, I feel for the families… Can’t begin to imagine what they’re going through.

        1. What’s also very alarming is that between 4 climbers they had only 1 communication equipment which Sajid was left with or had access to? That is not very professional of them.. and if the equipment was already at camp 3, then that’s even worse that all 4 of them had no means of comms up there .. how were they supposed to record our call from summit if they had to.. now these things not working in -62c is another thing, but just saying how unprepared or rushed this summit push seems like..

          Unfortunately most of it will remain a mystery as Sajid’s last contact will not give us any further information..

        2. Andrew i have a feeling the ropes had vanished and they probably had to fix a new section which may have added to delay, and pessimistic view is that they may have been blown off the mountain with the rope.. plus I’ve read that last section to the summit is not roped, it’s just a bit further up from bottleneck and then to just climb up.. so all the more chance of just slipping off our blown away on the night..

          It all comes down to the time of their summit, it has to be in dark around 8pm plus.. just baffles me why would they do it, this is definitely summit fever..

          Conversely if they were thinking logically and decided they can’t summit at that hour of the night, then that means they’ve had an accident way before reaching the summit area..

          In either case there error of judgement involved to a degree..

          1. Abbas, you seem like a great armchair mountaineer but maybe look up some facts before calling out a tragic accident of some of the best climbers in the world for summit fever, unpreparedness and a rushed attempt. According to Jon Kedrowski’s latest blog post John Snorri did have a sat phone, but it must have died from the cold during the ascent. And no one gets blown off the mountain with 20mph winds, arguably the likeliest cause of accident on that part of the mountain is an avalanche or falling serac, both of which are somewhat less likely at night due to the cold, and could happen whatever your level of preparation and skill. There is no general rule or turn-around time on K2 like there is on Everest, Jordi Corominas reached it at midnight in an epic ascent through the magic line a few years ago and descended just fine.

            1. True – I think I should listen to myself as I say the last count from Sajid doesn’t give us much of what may have happened – we really don’t know the facts. You are right – there’s a cloud of unknowns at the moment which likely might take weeks or months to uncover, if it ever comes to that.

              I want to keep my hopes high – which only a miracle can reach.

          2. Let’s be respectful to the families and not speculate too much. We may never know what happened. When incident reviews occur, experts interview multiple sources, use only known facts and don’t speculate. Thus their conclusions can be used to learn so that mistakes, if any, have a better chance of not being repeated. I ask with respect.

            1. Alan my friend what are you thinking right now i can only guess iam a big fan of mountaineering and i was very upset early on in this event that more help wasnt sent earlier but i have no business expressing myself in the mannor i did earlier in a different article would like to say thanx for all the top notch writing after nardi and Englishman perished on parbot i really hoped this wouldn’t happen i especially am very impressed with ali sadparas climbing any way prayers to all families involved iam

            2. But I would like to come to the rescue of my fellow commentators here throwing in the ominous word “summit fever”. From a broader perspective, all these risky adventures seem to involve quite a bit of summit fever, because why would one otherwise go out at night to climb an icy mountain at Siberian temperatures? I think most of us are feeling a bit angry at these misfortunes involving so much suffering for so many people, asking ourselves if this was necessary … – and I guess it’s more the overall picture of “summit fever” that can be triggered in us as a sign of despair … So let’s see the concern and mourning behind these benign outbursts rather than speculation or, worse, condemnation! – And thanks, Alan, for your good work!

              1. Thanks Maja. I don’t see this as “fever” but rather as committed, experienced professionals taking calculated risks, while understanding the consequences.

  11. The ‘savage mountain’ just took 5 lives so far this winter season. I hope it ends here for this winter season and is remembered and feared for a long time before it fades. Summiting K2 is obviously no joke, and doing it in winter is Russian roulette with only one empty chamber. I understand they all died doing what they so loved to do but what a shame and tragedy, especially for their families.

  12. I have two questions. How safe is it for no one to be using oxygen that high up? I believe I haven’t heard of this before.

    If they were at the bottleneck at 10am, were they behind schedule or moving slowly? It took 7 hours for Sajid to climb down to camp 3. Could they have expected to summit and get back before too late?

    Thank you

    1. I’ve asked the same question.. that was it already too late to summit from a 10am bottle neck ascent.. I believe the Nepalese team were there 3 hours earlier and then had a summit at 5pm.. so the 3 trying the a summit from then on would be a 8pm summit.. that would be dark of the night.. unless they somehow catch up on time..

      I believe there’s error of judgement and an accident involved.. which is not their doing..

      Lack of oxygen renders so many vital functions useless and you slowly lose concentration, strength and ability to think correctly.. so humanly it is possible, because you’re still alive and good acclimatised climber will fare well, but not without the toll it’ll take on their abilities..

      Alan has done it in summers and he says it was hard enough then with the temperatures..

      This is such a disaster so far..

    2. @Sharon: No oxygen makes the difficult trip even more dangerous, not only because of fatigue and a bigger chance of high altitude sickness, but also because without supplimental oxygen you increase the chance of frostbite (which if severe enough will decrease your speed, rope handling, etc.). In winter frostbite is offcourse already harder to avoid (most of the summitteers from the succesfull attempt earlier this month had frostbite). However, it’s a choice not to use o2 which some pro athletes make to make the whole expedtion even a bigger challenge. Even Everest has been ‘conquered’ without O2, however, that was in summertime and on a less technical climb.

    1. Also I appreciate the timeline. I have looked it over a few times.

      So sorry that this happened to these talented, experienced and strong climbers

  13. Hi Alan .. Thank you for the update. I’ve been visiting your page every hour. I’ve heard the interview of Sajid and in the end he says that the search operation can continue to recover bodies as the chances of them being alive after an exposure of 2-3 days at 8,200+ in these winter condition is next to zero.

    That just breaks my heart – i can’t even imagine how he must’ve climbed down.

    The image you’ve posted – i can see the ice seracs – where exactly is the bottle neck in the picture? Is it to the left of the serac or some other part … please help us understand that picture better.

    I hope that Ali, John and Pablo have had a good run in this attempt regardless of the outcome.

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