By Syed Raza Hassan
KARACHI (Reuters) - Two American mountain climbers have gone missing in northern Pakistan while attempting to scale a peak and bad weather was preventing a rescue, the Alpine Club of Pakistan said on Thursday.
The climbers, Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson, were attempting to climb the 6,960-metre (22,835-feet) Ogre-II peak in the Karakoram mountain range but did not return when expected, said Karrar Haidri, a spokesman for the Alpine Club.
"Families of both the climbers are in contact with the local tour operator," Haidri said, adding that bad weather was thwarting any possibly rescue effort.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Islamabad said it was aware of the case and was in touch with the climbers' families.
U.S. media said the two men were accomplished climbers, and Dempster had won the prestigious Piolet d’Or alpine climbing award twice. He won it the second time after scaling the treacherous Ogre I peak in 2012.
Pakistan is popular with climbers as it rivals Nepal for the number of peaks over 7,000 metres. It also boasts K2, the world's second highest mountain.
During the summer, scores of climbers from all over the world attempt to scale various mountains in its northern region of Gilgit-Baltistan, near the Chinese border.
Haidri said Dempster and Adamson began their ascent of the north face of Ogre-II peak on Aug. 21. When they did not return as planned 10 days later, the Alpine Club raised the alarm.
"We are hoping for good weather to continue our search and helicopter search," Haidri said.
(Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Robert Birsel)