Update Monday, January 16th
The families and friends of Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson would like to thank you for your generous contribution to the GoFundMe rescue fund for Kyle and Scott. We were blown away by the generosity shown to our families in the midst of what we hoped to be a rescue for our loved ones who had been caught in a powerful and long-lasting mountain storm system near the summit of the Ogre 2. We are deeply grateful to so many gifted people around the world who came together to coordinate and enact the rescue efforts. Through your generosity and the dedication of many talented individuals, a rescue helicopter was launched on September 3, 2016. We were devastated when the helicopter, after two flights that covered every aspect of the Ogre 2, could find no trace of Kyle and Scott. While we wish with all of our hearts that we could have reached them, there is some comfort in knowing that those involved did everything in their power to aid Kyle and Scott.
While previous posts have detailed the rescue efforts and results, I’d like to shed a little light on some aspects of the rescue coordination, as your kindness opened doors to us during a time when we felt truly incapacitated due to the weather and remoteness of the Ogre 2.
Many climbers are familiar with Kyle and Scott’s history with the Ogre 2. After fully processing their attempt on the peak in the summer of 2016, along with many long talks with their family and friends, they decided to return together this summer. They spent many months climbing and talking together, physically training, and mentally preparing for this peak. After properly acclimating and receiving word of a large weather window, they let us know that they would start their climb on August 21st, and estimated that they would return in a maximum of five days.
Jewell (Kyle’s girlfriend) called me early in the morning on August 28th; we were both extremely worried, Kyle and Scott were overdue. Through the helpful network of multiple climber friends, Jewell and Angela (Scott’s girlfriend) had managed to communicate our concern with a group of climbers that had arrived in the Choktoi Basecamp a day or two after Kyle and Scott had started climbing—George Lowe, Jim Donini, Thom Engelbach, Thomas Huber, Toni Gutsch, and Sebastian Brutscher. Over a spotty satellite phone conversation in the middle of the night, George and Thomas selflessly put their own groups’ climbing plans aside and expressed a commitment to help Kyle and Scott. They also recommended that we initiate a helicopter rescue; as soon as Jewell hung up with them she dialed Global Rescue. Jewell arrived at my house at 6 AM, with Angela arriving shortly thereafter.
This was new territory for us. How does one organize a search in the middle of the mountains in Pakistan from a kitchen in Salt Lake City? The following sleepless week ran the full spectrum of feeling maddeningly helpless at the distance and remoteness of the Ogre 2, to overwhelmingly warmed by the tenacity and talent of all those that became involved.
I am touched that I was part of and witness to the incredible forces that took place. Pakistan being eleven hours ahead meant we were up all night talking and planning the search with the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani Military, Askari Aviation, and some key players in Europe who were providing help. During the day, we worked with many in America that offered their aid and advice. Jewell and Angela were amazing in how and who they were able to contact for help. Friends and family helped in every way they could. Quickly our kitchen table changed from three people to hundreds of people, day and night, who were willing to give up their time to help. Sleep put off, people tirelessly worked together to launch the helicopters.
At the outset of the rescue plans, we learned that we had to pay the rescue funds in full before the helicopter would launch. While we were grateful to apply Kyle’s rescue insurance through his American Alpine Club membership, we were told that this would come nowhere near the cost of a helicopter launch. We had absolutely no idea how much the launch was going to be, but I wanted to be sure I had credit cards in place to pay. Early on in the rescue week, we were sitting around my kitchen table at 1am. Savannah and Juanita, friends of Scott and Angela, asked me how we were paying for the rescue. I explained that I had already maxed out my and my daughter’s credit cards, and was now putting money on the credit cards of some very generous family and friends. At this time, I was not worried about money; I wanted to do all I could to bring Kyle and Scott home. I would have sold everything I owned to get my beautiful son Kyle home.
When Savannah and Juanita first approached me with the idea of the GoFundMe, I said ‘absolutely not. We are not a charity,’ I told them. ‘Please don't do that.’ After I went to sleep, they kindly decided to start the GoFundMe anyway.
Although I was initially opposed, I want to thank both Savannah and Juanita, along with all of you who contributed, for what your contributions have meant. I was blown away by the love for both Kyle and Scott. Your contributions enabled us to launch the helicopters at the first opportunity, rather than scramble around to find the money first. As I was overwhelmingly concerned for the wellbeing of my son Kyle, it was a relief not to also worry about the financial aspect of getting a helicopter in the air. Although I would have sold my house and gone into whatever debt necessary to get Kyle and Scott home, your contributions helped ease one burden at a time when stress was very high.
Although our hearts are broken that the ending was not different, we realize that life does not always take us down a sunny happy path. I am honored to be Kyle's Mom. He gave to the world so much in his 33 years.
Thank you so very much to all of you. I think about your generosity everyday. I hope you all understand how touched I was and am for what your contributions allowed us to do.
Kyle and Scott both shared a passion for Pakistan. This was Kyle's 8th expedition to Pakistan and Scott's 2nd. The beauty of both the people and the mountains drew them to climb in the Karakoram Range.
It is absolutely crushing to lose them. Through our grief, we do feel strongly that they would continue to urge us all towards our dreams, and to help those around us do the same. In light of their untamable belief in human capacity to do great things, we would like to apply what remains of your incredible generosity in the GoFundMe campaign towards female education in Pakistan. Through the extraordinary efforts of the Iqra Fund (iqrafund.org), your donations would go towards providing scholarships as well as the teacher’s salary for young students in the Basha Valley, in the remote mountains of Pakistan. Some photos of the ardent students supported by the Iqra Fund in the Basha Valley can be viewed below.
We believe that your generosity extended towards children in Pakistan will further cement what for us has been an overwhelming realization of a tight-knit global community. It feels beautifully balanced, in a way, for a memorial of Kyle and Scott to positively impact the children of remote villages in the same mountains that impacted these climbers so powerfully.
With Iqra, we are in the midst of organizing a means of monitoring and communicating the status of the classroom that is supported with the remaining funds. If anyone would like to be kept in the loop about their progress with regular updates, or has any questions or concerns about this use of funds, please contact our gifted campaign organizer Savannah Cummins ([email redacted]) by January 25, 2017.
We would also like to give a portion of the money in the Salt Lake Climber’s Alliance (www.saltlakeclimbers.org ), an organization that both Kyle and Scott believed in. The SLCA acts as a unified voice for Utah climbers through advocacy, stewardship, community and education. Though they ventured all over the world, both Kyle and Scott were avid believers in adventuring in and conserving our own wild Wasatch Mountains.
Again, the families and friends of Kyle and Scott cannot thank you enough. In a world where negativity sometimes trumps positivity, the love shown towards the rescue efforts of Kyle and Scott brings us comfort. We will remember that Kyle and Scott were loved by people around the world...
Update Monday, September 5, 2016
This update is for Monday, September 5th and is provided in order to keep everyone informed of the efforts that have been made to locate Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson.
We want to again, thank everyone for the love and support received during this search & rescue. At this time we are leaving to gofund me open for donations as we work out the allocation of the funds. We will be providing a breakdown of how the donations were used for the search & rescue efforts as soon as possible.
That is the update for Monday, September 5th. 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 [email redacted].
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Salt Lake City, Utah
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 [email redacted].
We need your help getting Scott and Kyle off of a mountain in Pakistan…
Early on Sunday, August 21, Kyle Dempster and Scott Adamson started up the North Face of the Ogre II, just off the Choktoi Glacier in Northern Pakistan. They planned on five days for the climb and descent. On Monday evening, their Pakistani cook, Ghafoor Abdul, spotted their headlamps roughly halfway up the peak. The weather remained good until Tuesday afteroon (8/23/16), when a storm moved in. Snowfall and cloudy conditions have persisted in the region since then.
Kyle and Scott have not been seen since Monday, August 22, no surprise given the complexity and scale of the terrain and the vagaries of the weather. On Sunday, August 28, family and friends initiated a search and rescue effort, assisted by local authorities and another climbing team on the Choktoi.
Please help these boys. Kyle and Scott’s rescue insurance will only cover a fraction (under $10,000) of the rapidly-escalating costs. We have already paid significant deposits for the helicopter and for porters to search on foot for Scott and Kyle. Please consider the urgency of this situation and how thankful we are for your help.
Be assured that any funds in excess of actual search and rescue costs will be returned to donors.
For media inquiries, please contact Jonathan Thesenga, [email redacted]
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