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K2 Winter Update: Team leaving Base Camp, search suspended

Seven Summits Treks is leaving K2 Base Camp, thus ending their effort for a winter summit. The strongest climbers on their team gave it their best effort but no one summited the world’s second highest peak. Tragically two died in their effort.

• Due to the continuous bad weather (forecast) further seven days more, Our expedition is off and we all are returning from basecamp toward Skardu.

•Imtiaz and Akbar headed to high camp yesterday, cook, LO, kitchen boys from Jasmine tours (operator of John and Ali’s expedition) are still at basecamp supplying the supports.

•Due to the bad weather, no helicopter search flight for today, when the weather permits the authorities will send more HAP for ground SAR.

It’s been more than 90 hours, no news of the mountaineers Juan, Muhammad Ali, and John Snorri missing on K2 since last Friday.

• I will have very limited internet access on the way back, may not reach you.

Source: Dawa Sherpa

Of course, as we all now know, there were summits of K2 on January 16 by a team of 9 Sherpas and one Magar. Nims Purja became the first person to summit K2 in the winter without supplemental oxygen. Mingma G Sherpa launched the effort with superior vision and ambition.

All ten climbers worked together in a superb fashion to achieve the last winter summit of the 14 8000-meter peaks.

There is no official communication from Snorri or Ali or JP’s home teams to the public. This tragic event has brought many emotions to the surface for climbers and non-climbers alike. This is not the time for speculation or second-guessing. Similar to many alpine tragedies, we will probably never know the full story.

Header: From top left: Dawa Tenji Sherpa, Mingma G, Dawa Temba Sherpa and Pem Chiri Sherpa. From bottom left: Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzi Sherpa, Nirmal Purja and Geljen Sherpa. (Not pictured: Kilu Pemba Sherpa and Sona Sherpa). Credit: Pool photo by Nimsdai [Nirmal Purja Magar]

“It was a proud moment,” Mingma G said. “All of our mountains were first summited by foreigners. That’s why we were desperate to summit K2 this winter.”

“This was for Nepal.”