A Russian-American climber who went missing last week while trying to scale a mountain amid harsh winter weather in northern Pakistan has been found dead, the region?s tourist police and the Alpine Club of Pakistan said on Tuesday.

The tourist police in the town of Gilgit made the announcement on Twitter, saying Alex Goldfarb went missing on Friday while he was trying to summit the Pastore Peak, not far from K2, the most prominent peak on the Pakistani side of the Himalayan range, and the world?s second tallest after Mount Everest.

Contact with Goldfarb was lost and a helicopter rescue and search team was sent out. The Pakistan army on Monday found the body, after a day-long search, according to Karrar Haidri, the secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan.

Muhammad Ali Sadpara, a Pakistani mountaineer who was part of the rescue team, also tweeted the news. Efforts are now underway to bring Goldfarb?s body down with the help of Pakistani and foreign mountaineers.

Goldfarb and Hungarian climber Zoltan Szlanko had initially planned to scale Pastore together but Szlanko later decided to turn back. Haidri expressed condolences to Goldfarb?s family, saying ?I will never forget his kindness.?

Goldfarb was a doctor and lecturer at Harvard University. He had volunteered to treat Covid-19 patients during the pandemic according to his son, Levi.

?He thought [mountain climbing] was beautiful,? Levi Goldfarb said. ?He thought it was liberating, because up in the mountains it didn?t really matter who you were at sea level ? a doctor, a lawyer, or even a thief, all of those labels were stripped away and you were playing by a different set of rules. He made great friends in the mountains, he saved lives and saved himself, and he travelled the world doing it.?

On Saturday, a team of Nepalese climbers made history by making the first winter ascent of K2. Hundreds of local and foreign climbers travel to northern Pakistan every year and accidents are common because of avalanches and sudden changes in weather.

Goldfarb and Hungarian Zoltan Szlanko planned to acclimatize on 6,209 m Pastori Peak before launching a fast, alpine-style ascent of Broad Peak, with no high-altitude porters, supplementary O2, or previously fixed ropes. Pastori had never been climbed in winter before.

Soon after starting the climb, the heavily crevassed terrain proved too hazardous for climbing instructor and mountain rescuer Szlanko, who turned around. Goldfarb chose to continue alone. In his last radio contact with BC, he stated that he planned to summit and then return by Saturday evening. But he failed to show up in BC, and after radio and satphone contact proved useless, a search and rescue operation began.

Helicopters departed Skardu today and picked up John Snorri and Sajid Sadpara, who had quickly volunteered to help, from K2 Base Camp. High winds aborted an initial flight, but on a subsequent pass after the winds had calmed, the pilots spotted rags of a tent. On a third and final flight, they saw Goldfarb?s body. Since his body was visible, he likely fell off the mountain rather than into a crevasse, as had been feared.
Goldfarb?s son Levi set up a crowdfunding site to help cover the cost of the helicopter and now has written a moving tribute to his father:

?Alex is a man who never gives up. He moved to America just after the fall of the Soviet regime and began working illegally in a plastic factory and selling his plasma for cash. In just over a decade, he earned two PhDs and became a Professor of Medicine at Harvard.

He went on to have a stunning academic career, publishing over 70 peer-reviewed publications and several books. The most recent was the first Critical Care Medicine book to include a chapter on COVID.