Hopes are fading with each passing hour as Search and Rescue Operations have not kicked in as yet because of the prevailing bad weather. It is now more than 90 hours that the climbers Gerfried Goschl, Nisar Hussain and Cedric Hahlen have gone missing on the 8,068meters Gahserbrum-1 and they have made no contact to either the Base Camp or their respective homes.
Help was sought by the Pakistan Military choppers and although two choppers have been despatched for the purpose, the evacuation and rescue have still not kicked in due to bad weather. The choppers are grounded for the moment.
Temperatures have plummeted to -50 Celsius at 7000meters and the trio was last seen by Alex Txikon at 7,700meters heading for the summit four days ago.
The successful Polish team who clinched the peak on March 9, for the first winter ascent of the G-1, are now helping with the SAR operations. Darek Zaluski and Agnieszka Bielecka who remained in the Base Camp during their summit bid, attempted to reach Camp-1 on the normal route on the north, in a bid to spot any signs of life but were forced to abandoned as another raging storm blocked their path.
The Poles reported: “Agna and Darek are back in BC. They were forced down by low visibility and high wind after covering only 1/4 of the way”.
The rescue teams as well as the friends and families of the climbers are now leaning on a miracle which could save the lives of the three climbers. There is a possibility that the team may have bivouacked at some place underneath an ice cave and are waiting for the rescue teams to spot them.
The prevailing weather conditions however, have thwarted any rescue attempts so far. What has been particularly alarming is the fact that none of the three-member team has tried to contact the Base Camp through radio or SAT-Phone, triggering a suspicion that all is lost. Goschl and his team members were pitched to scale the mountain from a new route on the south and were hoping to climb down from the north, pulling in an unprecedented first Winter Ascent and Traverse of the 8000er.
Their approach has made it all the more difficult as the rescue teams are now unaware of their location and the path they might have followed.