KATHMANDU, Nepal- Three Spanish climbers who went missing in the mountains of northern Pakistan earlier this week were pronounced dead after hectic search and rescue operation failed to locate them.
The dead were Abel Alonso, Xevi Gomez and Alvaro Paredes.
The Pakistani mountaineering officials have confirmed their missing and said the climbers were dead. Colleagues of the climbers including the one who managed to escape the fatal accident last week said in a statement that their friends were dead.
“After losing contact with them on the morning of July 22 and given the adverse climactic conditions at altitude in the following days, we made one more flight search that confirmed our worst fears: the three have died,” they said in a statement reported by news agency AFP.
The mountaineers had contacted their expedition organizer for the last time on Monday when they were sheltered close to base camp.
According to Manzoor Hussain, president of the Pakistani Alpine Federation, one of the four mountaineers who were lost managed to find the path and returned to base camp.
The group was descending towards the 8060 meter Gasherbrum-I peak last weekend when four of them lost the rest of the team. “The other three disappeared. No one knows where they are. It appears they were caught in a snow storm.”
Earlier this week Pakistani authorities also abandoned the search for three Iranian mountaineers who disappeared while attempting to scale a mountain known as Broad Peak. The three Spaniards’ colleagues published the statement on the blog of Alfredo Garcia, who had been briefly missing before managing to return to the base camp.
A Nepali, an American-Chinese climber, two other Chinese, three Ukrainians, two Slovakians, a Lithuanian and a Pakistani were killed at the foot of Nanga Parbat, a notoriously treacherous peak nicknamed ‘killer mountain’ on June 22 attack claimed by Taliban, which is the worst on foreigners in Pakistan for a decade. The incident was a major blow to foreign trekking expeditions, which provide the last vestige of international tourism in the country.