September 3, 2016:
Since August 28, a search has been ongoing for Kyle Dempster (33) and Scott Adamson (34), two American alpinists missing on the Ogre II in Pakistan, last spotted partway up the North Face on August 22. A storm arrived on August 23. This morning, after continuous days of cloud and snow, the weather finally cleared, and two Pakistani military helicopters, with climber Thomas Huber, were able to make an extensive aerial search, without finding any trace of the climbers.
According to Jonathan Thesenga of Black Diamond: “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.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of these well-loved men, as well as with everyone whose lives they touched. Over the years, our staff worked with Kyle on a number of stories, and we were deeply moved by his talent and passion for writing. Both he and Scott inspired many people with their kindness and warmth. We will remember Kyle’s words in Alpinist 42, “What matters most are the brothers and sisters you choose to walk with–and to laugh with–through the fire.”
We will be posting more about Kyle and Scott in the week ahead, and sharing what information we gather.
The full statement on the aerial search, sent to us by Thesenga, is below.
“This update is for Saturday, September 3rd and is provided in order to keep everyone informed of the efforts being made to locate Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson. NOTE: All dates and times referenced are for Pakistan Standard Time.
“Early on Saturday, September 3rd, two Pakistani military helicopters left Skardu in clear weather. They landed at basecamp on the Choktoi Glacier and picked up climber Thomas Huber (Austria) who would assist as an observer/spotter. An exhaustive and close-proximity initial search of the north face of the Ogre 2 (where Kyle and Scott were last seen on August 22), the northeast ridge (their planned descent route), and the glacial basin between the Ogre 2 and Ogre 1, yielded no sign of the pair. After refueling, the two helicopters made a second sweep of all sides of the mountain, from an even higher altitude, and again found no sign of Kyle and Scott. In light of those extensive yet unsuccessful efforts, the search team and knowledgeable observers in Pakistan, the US, and Europe, assessed that there remained a very slim chance that any evidence of their passage would be revealed in subsequent sweeps of the mountain.
“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.
“We owe a huge amount of gratitude to the Pakistan government for scrambling all of their available assets and their commitment to finding Scott and Kyle. Their support, and that of Global Rescue, has been invaluable. Additionally Kyle and Scott’s families are deeply grateful for the assistance provided by the Pakistan Embassy in Switzerland the US Embassy in Pakistan, and numerous other individuals and organizations worldwide. We will acknowledge and thank each of them publicly and privately in the coming days.
“That is the update for Saturday, September 3rd. We again ask that everyone please provide privacy to Kyle and Scott’s families. Any questions or media inquires should be directed to Jonathan Thesenga at firstname.lastname@example.org.”