3 Iranian climbers, Aidin Bozorgi, Pouya Keivan and Mojtaba Jarahi, have been lost on 26,414-foot Broad Peak (Gasherbrum II, Earth’s 12 highest peak) since July 18th. They all successfully summited Broad Peak on July 16th and had planed to descend the standard route back to Camp 3 but the descent proved complicated and the climbers were forced to bivouac 2 nights above Camp 3 at an elevation of about 25,263 feet. It appears the climbers may have taken the wrong ridge down from the rocky summit instead of the standard route.
On July 18th the climbers had planned to climb up 330 feet to reach the standard route and descend to Base Camp.
Around 7am on July 18th the climbers called Base Camp and told them that they needed food and water. That was the last contact made with the 3 Iranian climbers that day.
The Base Camp team sent high altitude porters up to look for the lost climbers and bring them food and water.
The following day, July 19th, at 6am contact was made with Aidin who reported that they were all feeling crippled and were unable to move. 2 Pakistani climbers and 2 Swiss climbers went up to and about Camp 3 in search of the 3 lost climbers and were unable to locate them that day.
Aidin was able to call Base Camp at 10am and 1:30pm on July 19th and he was in bad shape. His words were reportedly scattered and irregular.
“After spending more than a week above 7000m, four days above 7700m and three days without food and water, such a deterioration in physical health is obvious.” – Altitude Pakistan
Aidin was unable to communicate his gps coordinates nor the conditions nor whereabouts of his fellow climbers in this last communication.
The search for the climbers continued on July 19th with 2 sherpas searching the pass above Camp 3 and 2 Pakistani porters in the same area. No one found any trace of the climbers.
On July 20th, Aidin called Base Camp again at 7pm and reported that he needed help and this was his last communication with Base Camp. He was alone and unable to find his way down. At this point a helicopter was shuttling rescuers from K2 base camp to Broad Peak base camp to aid in the search for the lost climbers.
Rescuers continued to search on July 21st and for 3 more days but it became apparent that the climbers were in a very difficult zone to access far from the standard route.
On July 25nd, the search for the missing climbers was called off as they were considered deceased:
“With regret we conclude that the three Iranian mountaineers have lost the precious lives. We left no stone upturned to save the precious lives of our brothers but Allah Almighty had fixed the death of our beloved brothers on the heights of Karakorams!” – Iranian Broad Peak 2013 Team
“The three climbers spent nine days above 7000m, majority of them around 7800m. They are were without food, water and shelter since July 18th, fighting bravely against bitter cold, depleted oxygen and hunger. Being rescued from such an altitude is difficult, if not impossible. Pakistani Helicopters can fly to an altitude of 6500m, but climbers were stranded 1000 vertical meters higher. Still, expert mountain guide, Thomas Laemmle, made an attempt to look for them via a helicopter flight. Similarly complete area above C3 till summit was searched.” – Altitude Pakistan
Sorry I do have only an i-phone to type e-mails. Today we had a final press conference where i could state my opinion. I strongly belief none of the three Iranian climbers is alive anymore, due to the high altitude and dehydration. My second statement is, that there is no chance to evacuate their bodies because they are far away from the normal route in an altitude of minimum 7500 m. Helicopters will only evacuate people/bodies up to 5800m. Higher up everything has to be done by humans. There have been evacuations before in this altitude but only on the normal route. We do have two cluees there the bodies might be: 1) last thuraya phone call and 2) yellow spot on a photo. Both locations are above 7500m off the normal route and 500m in altitude away from summit and normal route. No chance for evacuation.
I strongly belief as a mountaineer these three climbers don’t want to risk someone life to get their dead bodies down. They loved the mountains why are not leaving them at this place which they liked so much? Two porters found the Iranian flag on top of the main summit. Therefore the Iranian Route on BP was successfully completed by the three climbers. It seems they took the wrong ridge down the rocky summit.
I hope i could have answered some of your questions. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have further questions.”
– Thomas Laemmle, German climber who was coordinating the rescue efforts, email to Arash Mountain Club (the mountain club that the 3 Iranian climbers belonged to)
We’d like to send our condolences out to the friends and families of the 3 fallen climbers.