According to Reuters, a total of three mountaineers are missing on the China-Pakistan border after trying to climb the world’s second-highest mountain, K2. Military helicopters have for the past three days been searching for the three missing male climbers who include a 47-year-old from Iceland, a 45-year-old from Pakistan, and a 33-year-old from Chile.
K2 is at 8611 meters above sea level, the second-highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest at 8,848 meters. It is located on the China–Pakistan border between Dafdar Township in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang, China, and Baltistan in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan.
Part of the group was one of Pakistan’s most famous mountaineers, Sadpara who have previously climbed eight of the world’s highest mountains, and his 20-year-old son. Sadpara’s son turned back when his oxygen mask broke and waited for his father and the other three climbers in his tent. The three climbers were last seen at a place nicknamed “The Bottleneck”, which is one of the most dangerous areas on the mountain. This was the group’s second attempt to climb K2 this winter.
K2 is a challenging mountain to climb, even though it is lower than Mount Everest. The wind can blow with more than 200 kilometers per hour, and the temperature can drop to minus 60 degrees. Three mountaineers have already died on K2 this year and in 2008, eleven climbers died in just two days on K2.
According to CNN, figures from 2018 show that more than 4,000 climbers have climbed Mount Everest and only 350 climbers have reached the top of K2. Pakistan has, as one of the few countries, continued with open borders during the pandemic and four teams of 60 mountaineers have tried to climb K2 this winter.