Pakistan Army launches operation to rescue mountaineers gone missing while scaling ‘Killer Mountain’

08:11 PM | 27 Jan, 2018
Pakistan Army launches operation to rescue mountaineers gone missing while scaling ‘Killer Mountain’

RAWALPINDI - Pakistan Army has launched a rescue operation to search for two climbers who had gone missing on Thursday while trying to scale Nanga Parbat.

“Two army helicopters, carrying four rescuers, are undertaking the rescue mission,” the Inter-Services Public Relations said on Saturday. The embassies concerned had requested the Pakistan Army to launch an operation to rescue two foreign mountaineers, the statement added.

A helicopter of Askari Aviation flew from Skardu to the K2 basecamp where it picked up four Polish climbers including team leader Jaroslaw Botor, Denis Urubko, Adam Bielecki, and Piotr Tomala along with some gear on Saturday afternoon.

French climber Elisabeth Revol and Polish mountaineer Tomek Mackiewicz, who were attempting to scale the 8,126 metre “Killer Mountain”, got stuck at an altitude of 7,400m. Mackiewicz, who has attempted to climb the ninth highest mountain in the world on six previous occasions, suffered snow blindness and frostbite.

Revol then had to bring Mackiewicz to a safe point before heading lower herself. According to her tracker, she was at 6,670m.

According to initial reports, nobody had been able to contact the two climbers once the pair had reached an altitude of 8,000 metres on Thursday.

The two-member team attempting to reach the summit of Nanga Parbat in winter had reportedly started their expedition on Jan 8.

Polish media said the two mountaineers had reached an altitude of 7,300 metres and wanted to reach the summit on Thursday. They said that people at the base camp were extremely concerned about the safety of the two climbers.

Last June, Spanish alpinist Alberto Zerain and Argentinian Mariano Galvan had gone went missing while attempting to summit the “Killer Mountain”. A search was launched for them but it was believed that they had been buried under an avalanche.