A 19-year-old Pakistani has become the youngest person to summit K2, the world’s second highest mountain, the Alpine Club of Pakistan said yesterday. Shehroze Kashif reached the 8,611 metre summit at 8:10am yesterday.
Kashif, who began climbing in his early teens, scaled the world’s 12th highest mountain, 8,047-metre Broad Peak, at the age of 17. In May, he became the youngest Pakistani to scale Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain. He now holds an additional record as the youngest person to have summited K2 and Everest.
Several of Pakistan’s youngest climbers have been on K2 in recent days. Sajid Ali Sadpara, who in 2019 became the youngest to climb K2 at the age of 20, is part of an expedition there to find the body of his father, who went missing along with two other climbers in February.
On Monday, sherpas affixing ropes for climbers about 300m below an obstacle known as the Bottleneck discovered the bodies of Mohamed Ali Sadpara of Pakistan, Iceland’s John Snorri and Chile’s Juan Pablo Mohr. The same day, Samina Baig, 30, said she was abandoning an attempt to summit the mountain because of dangerous conditions. Baig became the youngest Pakistani woman to scale Mount Everest in 2013.
On Sunday night the body of Scottish climber, Rick Allen, 68, was recovered after he was swept away by an avalanche while attempting to traverse a new route on K2’s southeastern face.
The remains of Pakistani mountaineering legend Mohamed Ali Sadpara, Iceland’s John Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile were spotted Monday near “the bottleneck” — a narrow gully just hundreds of metres from the summit.
“We are now focusing on a strategy to bring the bodies to a point from where they could be airlifted,” Ayaz Shagri, an official with the Alpine Club of Pakistan, told AFP.
“The bodies of the mountaineers are intact and frozen,” Shagri added, saying the climbers’ remains were at an altitude of 7,800 metres.
“It is very difficult to bring the dead bodies down from this high altitude,” said Karrar Haidri, also from the Alpine Club, adding that the military was helping with the operation. The trio lost contact with K2’s base camp in early February, sparking a massive rescue effort that included military helicopters and planes.
Earlier this month, Kim Hong-bin, 57, a South Korean Paralympian, went missing after falling from the nearby Broad Peak.
With Pakistan’s borders open and few other places to go due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s summer climbing season is attracting a large number of alpinists.
Known as “the savage mountain”, K2 has harsh conditions — winds can blow at more than 200 kilometres per hour and temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius.
Unlike the world’s highest peak Mount Everest, which has been scaled by thousands of climbers young and old, K2 is much less travelled.