SKARDU – A Russian mountaineer stranded on the Latok 1 mountain peak in Karakoram range was rescued by Pakistan Army on Tuesday.
Alexander Gukov, a Russian mountaineer, had been trapped at a height of 20,650 feet for the past six days and was rescued today after an intense helicopter mission that started on July 26, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement.
The Russian climber had been stuck since July 25 and had exhausted his supplies three days ago. Seven rescue attempts were made between July 26 and 30 but snow clouds prevented rescuers from locating and retrieving the climber, the statement added.
The Russian climber has been shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Skardu for medical care, ISPR said.
The unprecedented rescue mission under extreme weather conditions was the first ever by the army aviation at this height in Pakistan.
Gukov and his partner Sergey Glazunov had completed their climb after coming within 600 feet of the summit and began retreating down the mountain on July 25. In an accident, Glazunov fell to his death and Gukov sent an SOS signal for help.
Latok I is a 23,442-foot peak in the Karakoram range and climbing the North Ridge of Latok I is a mountaineering challenge that has never been achieved. Gukov and Glazunov came the closest to the peak of the mountain.
The courageous rescue was reflective of the expertise, training and competence of the Pakistan Army Aviation pilots who braved extremely treacherous conditions to recover the climber.
Early this month the army aviation rescued two British climbers from a remote 19,000ft-high peak by helicopter after their climbing partner was killed in an avalanche.