Search called off for U.S. mountain climbers in Pakistan

SKARDU, Pakistan, Sept. 4 (UPI) — The families of two U.S. mountain climbers missing on a Pakistan glacier since Aug. 22 have called off the search.

Continuing stormy weather that made the search dangerous for rescuers, combined with no sign of the missing men, prompted the family’s decision,CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City reported.

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Searchers have found no sign of Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson since they were last seen on Ogre II near the Choktoi Glacier. It is one of the highest peaks in Pakistan.

“Given the time that has elapsed and the nearly continuous stormy weather since they were last seen, and the substantial risks that such high-altitude missions entail, Kyle and Scott’s families have made the extremely difficult decision to end the search efforts,” according to a statement the families issued.

Severe weather continued to hamper the search Saturday, where two Pakistani military helicopters searched. They landed at a base camp on the mountain and picked up Austrian climber Thomas Huber to assist as a spotter. After an exhaustive search of the Ogre’s north face, the northeast ridge and the glacier basin between Ogre I and Ogre II, the team found no sign of the missing hikers.

Pakistani official Mohammad Lqbal said the 23,000-foot peak gets intense snowstorms and bad weather this time of the year, which complicates all search efforts.

Jonathan Thesenga, a spokesman for the families of the two Utah climbers, said even when conditiions improved on the mountain, an intense helicopter search resulted in no sign of the men, CNN reported.

Dempster and Adamson were known in the climbing community for their expertise in the sport. They began climbing the northern face of “Ogre II,” near the Choktoi Glacier on Aug. 21 in a five-day trip. They were last seen the next day about halfway up the peak before a snow storm moved in. When family and friends became increasingly alarmed they initiated a search, with the help of local authorities.

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