9 Climbers Feared Dead In K-2 Avalanche

Snow falls during an avalanche on the North Ridge of K2 in the Xinjiang Province of China during the summer of 2000. Mountaineers are bringing back firsthand accounts of vanishing glaciers, melting ice routes, crumbling rock formations and flood-prone lakes where glaciers once rose. The observations are transforming a growing number of alpine and ice climbers, some of whom have scientific training, into eyewitnesses of global warming. (AP Photo/John Heilprin)
AP Photo/John Heilprin
A Pakistani tour operator says nine climbers are feared to have died in an avalanche after scaling the world's second-highest mountain, K-2.

Nazir Sabir says 22 climbers, mostly foreigners, reached K-2's summit Saturday but an ice avalanche struck them during their descent.

He says nine of the mountaineers are feared to have died and three others are missing. His Alpine Club of Pakistan organized a Serbian expedition on the mountain.

Sabir says a Serbian climber is among the nine feared dead.

K-2 is 28,250 feet tall, about 785 feet shorter than the world's highest peak, Mount Everest. But climbers generally regard K-2 as a more difficult peak to conquer.