Pakistani rescuers call off search for a Japanese climber, days after his colleague’s body was found

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Rescuers have called off a search for a Japanese mountaineer who went missing a week ago while trying to scale one of the highest mountains in northern Pakistan, officials said Thursday.

Authorities said there was hardly any chance of survival for 36-year-old Atsushi Taguchi, whose fellow climber Ryuseki Hiraoka died while scaling the 7,027-meter (23,054-foot) Spantik Peak, also known as Golden Peak. The two went missing June 13, and Hiraoka’s body was found June 15.

The Golden Peak is renowned for the distinct golden hue cast upon it at sunrise and sunset, making the peak a popular destination.

“The search for the second Japanese climber was called off on Wednesday,” local official Nazar Hussain said.

He said rescuers did not see any sign of the missing climber during the search operation.

Alpine Club of Pakistan secretary Karrar Haidri also said that the search for the second Japanese had been abandoned.

He refused to make any speculation about the fate of the missing climber, saying “the chances of survival in such cases are very bleak, but families do hope for miracles, which happens.”

Several climbers die in Pakistan every year while trying to reach the summit of some of the world’s highest mountains, including K2, which is in Pakistan’s north.

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