Storm delays search for Spanish climbers missing in Pakistan
Relatives of three Spanish mountaineers missing for days high in the mountains of northern Pakistan said on Wednesday they were counting on better weather so rescuers could resume searching.
“The weather is getting better and today a wide window of opportunity will open for the two search teams to progress,” the families said in a statement.
“The helicopters operating in the area will fly as soon as the wind has dropped.”
The three went missing in a storm after scaling the 8,068-metre (26,469-foot) Gasherbrum-I peak on Sunday, the families and trek organisers said.
“After reaching the summit, they got lost due to a change in the weather and called for help,” the statement said.
The families named the three missing men as Abel Alonso, Xevi Gomez and Alvaro Paredes.
A fourth Spanish member of their group, Alfredo Garcia, made it back to a base camp, where he too was “in difficulty”.
The head of the Spanish agency that organised their expedition, Javier Garrido, told Spanish National Radio the three missing men had last made contact on Monday.
“They said they were together and relatively close to a camp and they had taken refuge,” he said.
“From that point on communication was lost, possibly because their batteries ran out, and we have had no further news.”
Bad weather had prevented the search helicopters from operating on the remote peak on Tuesday.
Pakistan is home to five of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres, including the world’s second-highest mountain, K2, but conditions are harsh and sometimes deadly.