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3 Top Climbers Missing Following K2 Winter Summit Attempt

John Snorri of Iceland, Muhammad Sadpara of Pakistan, and Juan Pablo "JP" Mohr Prieto of Chile set off on a summit push around 30 hours ago. Their GPS trackers have died and there has been no sign of the climbers. Another climber, Atanas Georgiev Skatov, died lower on the mountain following his own aborted summit attempt.

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Firstly, upfront, there is no 100% confirmed news about the following climbers: John Snorri, Ali Sadpara, and Juan Pablo “JP” Mohr Prieto. JP was climbing without supplemental oxygen. There is no conformation if they summited, their current status or plans. I’ll update when I have 100% confident news.

View of K2 Ice Serac from Camp 3. Note view of the Bottleneck is blocked.
View of K2 Ice Serac from Camp 3. Note view of the Bottleneck is blocked. Photo: Alan Arnette.

Snorri, Ali Sadpara and JP left Camp 3 for their summit push almost 30 hours earlier. They were last seen over 15 hours ago. It’s 3:00 am on Saturday morning, February 6, 2021. The first rays of dawn will hit the shoulder in about three hours. Note that none of their GPS trackers seem to be working anymore. I assume their batteries have run out, perhaps also for their headlamps and even radios. Computer generated weather forecasts have the summit temps at -42F/-41C with a wind chill at -80F/-62C.

John Snorri’s wife gave this update around midnight K2 time, Friday, February 5, 2021: “At this moment we haven’t heard from the team since Sajid descended from bottleneck where the team was located 10.00 PKT this morning. John and Ali are extremely strong climbers so we are hopeful that they will show up in C3 soon.”

View from Traditional Camp 4 on K2.
View from Traditional Camp 4 on K2. Photo: Alan Arnette.

And from Muhammad Ali Sadpara’s son: “I just got in contact with Sajid [Sadpara] at C3. He went out to check if there is any trace of them [Snorri, Ali Sadpara, JP]. He hasn’t saw any lights or any movement. He has food, sleeping bag and he is holding tight. We’ll publish the news as soon as he informs us.”

There is no direct line of sight from C3 to the Bottleneck where Sajid last saw them. He returned to C3 after his oxygen regulator failed.

There is no news of a rescue party being sent up. The winds are expected to build over the next few hours, and many of the Sherpas who went on the summit push reported frostbite.

K2 Summit Forecast courtesy of mountainforecast.com
K2 Summit Forecast courtesy of mountainforecast.com

The following climbers are all now reported back at Base Camp:

— Tamara Lunger

— Noel Hanna

— Bernhard Lippert

— Tomasz Rotar

— Colin O’Brady

— Antonios Sykaris

— Bernhard Lippert

— Tomasz Rota

— Atanas Georgiev Skatov (deceased below Camp 3. Body recovered and flown back to Skardu)

Seven Summits Trekking Sherpas

— Lhakpa Temba Sherpa

— Mingma Temba Sherpa

— Lakpa Dendi Sherpa

— Phurbu Kusang Sherpa

— Lakpa Nurbu Sherpa

— Pasang Dukpa Sherpa

— Pastemba Sherpa

— Temba Bhote Sherpa

And these following climbers are still on the mountain:

Last position at Camp 3:

— Sajid Ali Sadpara

Status unknown:

— John Snorri Sigurjonsson

— Muhammad Ali Sadpara

— Juan Pablo (JP) Mohr Prieto

Climbers have been known to bivy in harsh conditions waiting for the sun to show the way and warm their bodies. The human body and spirit are amazingly strong and resilient. Let’s keep the candles burning in hopes they meet Sajid at Camp 3 soon.


Known GPS Trackers

Atanas Skatov

John Snorri Sigurjonsson

Juan Pablo “JP” Mohr Prieto

Passang Norbuu Sherpa

The traditional K2 Camp locations are:

— Base Camp: 17,500ft/5334m

— Advanced Base Camp: 18,650ft/5650m

— Camp 1: 19,965’/6050m

— Camp 2: 22,110’/6700m

— Camp 3: 23,760’/7200m

— Camp 4: 25,080’/7600m

— Summit: 28,251”/8611


Alan Arnette is a speaker, mountaineer and Alzheimer’s Advocate. He has completed over 30 major expeditions including four Everest climbs, with a summit in 2011, and a summit of K2 in 2014. He completed his 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s project to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research. Find out more at www.alanarnette.com.


Also Read

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Alan Arnette: 2021 Winter K2 Update | Summit Push In A Few Hours!

Alan Arnette: 2021 Winter K2 Update | Camp 2 Destroyed. Expeditions In Jeopardy

2021 K2 Winter Madness: Could This Be The Year?

Carla Pérez: Everest And K2, No O’s

2018: Urubko Goes Rogue On Winter K2 Expedition

2018: K2 Remains Unclimbed In Winter | Polish Expedition Calls It Quits

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