ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Russian-American climber who went missing last week while trying to scale a mountain amid harsh winter weather in northern Pakistan has been found dead, the region’s tourist police and the Alpine Club of Pakistan said Tuesday.
The tourist police in the town of Gilgit made the announcement on Twitter, saying Alex Goldfarb went missing on Friday while he was trying to summit the Pastore Peak, not far from K2 — the most prominent peak on the Pakistani side of the Himalayan range, and the world’s second tallest after Mount Everest.
Contact with Goldfarb was lost and a helicopter rescue and search team was sent out. The Pakistan army on Monday found the body, after a day-long search, according to alpine official Karrar Haidri.
Muhammad Ali Sadpara, a famous Pakistani mountaineer who was part of the rescue team, also tweeted the sad news. Efforts were now underway to bring Goldfarb’s body down with the help of Pakistani and foreign mountaineers, Haidri told The Associated Press.
Goldfarb and Hungarian mountaineer Zoltan Szlanko had initially planned to scale Pastore together but Szlanko later decided to turn back. Haidri expressed condolences to Goldfarb’s family, saying “I will never forget his kindness.”
On Saturday, a team of Nepalese climbers made history by scaling K2 in the winter season. Haidri said this has never been done in winter. Winter winds on K2 can blow at more than 200 kilometers per hour (125 miles per hour) and temperatures drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 76 Fahrenheit).
Hundreds of local and foreign climbers scale mountains and peaks in northern Pakistan every year and accidents are common because of avalanches and sudden changes in weather.