ISLAMABAD, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Two foreign climbers attempting to scale world's ninth highest peak Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan have gone missing, officials said on Wednesday.
Karrar Haidri, a spokesman of Pakistan's Alpine Club, said the climbers Alberto Zerain Berasategi, 55, from Spain and Mariano Galacan, 37, from Argentina went missing since Saturday while attempting to climb the 8,126-meter summit, known as the Killer Mountain in Gilgit-Baltistan region in north of Pakistan.
"A 14-member team of foreigners along with 50 local guides and porters started their campaign on June 18, but they had to quit their mission due to bad weather. Twelve members of the team have returned to the base camp while two of them are still missing," said Haidri.
The organizer of the campaign has sent a couple of rescue teams but they had to come back due to snow avalanche and inclement weather.
An army helicopter is now being used to search the missing mountaineers likely to be hit by the snow avalanche.
According to the Summit Karakoram, the organizer of the campaign, the two climbers stopped at an altitude of 6,100 meters for couple of days due to poor weather and when they restarted their campaign they lost the contact.
"Zerain and Galvan were last contacted through satellite device at 10:21 p.m. local time on Saturday when they were a little above 6,400 meters. This altitude is not considered dangerous, but the two mountaineers chose the hardest route which has been successfully completed only once in history," said the organizer.
Gilgit-Baltistan region, located in northern Pakistan and between the western end of the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush Mountains and the Karakoram Range, is home to five of the world's 14 peaks over 8,000 meters, including the world's second-highest mountain K2. Conditions are always harsh and tough and deaths not uncommon during campaigns at the mountains in the region.