One of two Japanese climbers missing in Pakistan found dead

One of two Japanese climbers was found dead and his body recovered from a mountain in northern Pakistan on Saturday, with a search ongoing for the second man, an official said.

Ryuseki Hiraoka and Atsushi Taguchi were attempting to summit the 7,027-metre (23,054-foot) Spantik mountain in the Karakoram range before they went missing this week.

“The dead body of a Japanese climber was found, and a search is ongoing for the second climber,” Wali Ullah Falahi, the Shigar district deputy commissioner, told AFP.

The body was found 300 metres (984 feet) below Camp 3, he said, set at around 6,200 metres (20,341 feet) from where climbers prepare for the final summit.

Naiknam Karim, head of Adventure Tours Pakistan which organised the expedition, told AFP that “it is not clear whose dead body has been found”.

The search by high-altitude climbers and experts was backed by two Pakistan Army helicopters.

The pair had reached base camp on June 3 and were attempting the climb without the help of porters.

They were last seen on June 10 and the alarm raised the following day by fellow climbers who had expected to cross paths with them.

A military helicopter spotted the climbers on Thursday, but the search was suspended due to due to poor weather conditions.

Spantik, also known as the Golden Peak, is described as a “relatively accessible and straightforward peak” on the website of a tourist company, Adventure Tours.

The country is home to five of the world’s 14 mountains higher than 8,000 metres — including K2, the world’s second highest.

In 2013, more than 8,900 foreigners visited the remote Gilgit-Baltistan region, according to government figures, where most of the Karakoram range is located, with the summer climbing season running from early June to late August.

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