(By Raheel Adnan) Tragedy hit Karakoram climbing season this morning when an avalanche swept down a group of climbers on Broad Peak. As per details coming out of Base Camp, one Pakistani mountaineer (high altitude porter) went missing, whereas some other climbers are seriously injured and await aerial evacuation.
It snowed heavily in the region last night and majority of teams remained in Base Camp. “A heavy wet snow fell, and it did not stop through the night – it was so loud at times, it sounded like rain,” wrote Chris Burke. Nonetheless, many climbers decided to go up on Broad Peak.
A group of Japanese and Chinese climbers along with Pakistani HAPs and Sherpa were on the way to C1, when an avalanche came down at around 11hrs local time. Seven climbers were swept down the mountain. One of the injured Sherpa called BC and search & rescue mission was launched immediately. Six climbers, including seriously injured Japanese member of Summit Climb team Ms. Sumiyo Tsuzuki, were lowered to BC and given immediate medication. However, a Pakistani HAP of Seven Summit Treks team couldn’t be located. Missing HAP (name withheld as the family needs to be notified) has been unfortunately presumed dead.
Conditions on the mountain were quite unstable, today. “Lakpa said that as they lowered the climber, 2 more avalanches passed nearby causing them to move out of the way,” wrote Chris Burke, Lakpa Sherpa’s climbing partner. She further adds that “Late this afternoon, many high altitude porters gathered at our base camp to pray for their lost friend and tomorrow many people plan to search again to try and find him.”
Base Camp teams called for aerial evacuation of injured climbers; however the helicopter couldn’t fly from Skardu due to bad weather. Depending upon weather, heli-evacuation will be reattempted tomorrow.
Based in Pakistan, mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for Explorersweb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at Altitude Pakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
Summer 2015 Coverage:
Samina Baig on K2: It's over
Gasherbrum II Summits and More summit-pushes, Gasherbrum I
K2 Teams Continue the Acclimatization
Final Round of Acclimatization on Broad Peak
First Summit Bids of the Season on GII and GI
K2 Evac by Pakistan Military
Progress on K2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrums as Good Weather Holds
Gasherbrum Teams Start Acclimatization; Difficult Conditions
Broad Peak Climbers Marching in towards BC
K2 2015: Couple of Teams Reach Base Camp, Others still on the Way to Mountain
Summer 2015 Teams Locations Update
The Journey towards Mountain BCs Begins; Climbers Arriving
Summer 2015: Climbing Action in Karakoram Begins Soon
Gasherbrum I SW Face New Route: Czech Attempt 3
Swiss K2 2015: From Swtizerland to Skardu in Mercedes-Benz