Remains of Pakistani mountaineering legend Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Iceland's John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile found at world's second-highest peak, but "it is very difficult to bring dead bodies down", officials say.
The bodies of three mountaineers who died during a winter expedition on Pakistan's K2 have been found months after they went missing while scaling the world's second-highest peak, officials said.
The remains of Pakistani mountaineering legend Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Iceland's John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile were spotted on Monday near "the bottleneck" — a narrow gully just hundreds of metres from the summit.
"We are now focusing on a strategy to bring the bodies to a point from where they could be airlifted," Ayaz Shagri, an official with the Alpine Club of Pakistan, told AFP news agency on Tuesday.
According to updates from Sajid Sadpara, bodies of 3 climbers have been found in and around the bottleneck. More details for recovery and possibility of retrieval of the bodies will follow #K2Search #MissionSadpara pic.twitter.com/ecsZJj6f8c— Team Ali Sadpara (@ali_sadpara) July 27, 2021
Discovery of the bodies
"The bodies of the mountaineers are intact and frozen," Shagri added, saying the climbers' remains were at an altitude of 7,800 metres (25,600 feet).
"It is very difficult to bring the dead bodies down from this high altitude," said Karrar Haidri, also from the Alpine Club, adding that the military was helping with the operation.
The trio lost contact with K2's base camp in early February, sparking a massive rescue effort that included military helicopters and planes.
Sadpara's son Sajid is in the team coordinating the recovery effort, Shagri added.
READ MORE: Pakistan declares missing K2 climbers dead
'The savage mountain'
The discovery of the bodies followed the death on Sunday of Scottish climber Rick Allen, who was killed after being hit by an avalanche.
With Pakistan's borders open and few other places to go due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country's summer climbing season is attracting a large number of alpinists.
Known as "the savage mountain", K2 has harsh conditions — winds can blow at more than 200 kilometres per hour (124 miles per hour) and temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 Fahrenheit).
Unlike the world's highest peak Mount Everest, which has been scaled by thousands of climbers young and old, K2 is much less travelled.
Congratulations Pakistan! @Shehrozekashif2 has set the record for being the youngest Pakistani to reach the K2 summit! What an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations Shehroze Kashif! #PakistanOnK2— U.S. Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) July 27, 2021
Photo Credit: @SF360Digital pic.twitter.com/tt47VIFwHf
Youngest person to summit K2
Meanwhile, a 19-year-old Pakistani has become the youngest person to summit K2, the Alpine Club of Pakistan said on Tuesday.
Shehroze Kashif reached the 8,611 metre (28,251 foot) summit at 8:10 am (0310 GMT) on Tuesday.
Kashif, who began climbing in his early teens, scaled the world's 12th highest mountain, 8,047-metre (26,400 foot) Broad Peak, at the age of 17.
In May, he became the youngest Pakistani to scale Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. He now holds an additional record as the youngest person to have summitted K2 and Everest.
Several of Pakistan's youngest climbers have been on K2 in recent days.
Sadpara's son became the youngest to climb K2 at the age of 20, in 2019.