Efforts to rescue a Polish man and a French woman stuck on a treacherous peak in northern Pakistan known to mountaineers as “Killer Mountain” were set to begin yesterday, officials said.
Tomasz Mackiewicz from Poland and Elisabeth Revol of France were attempting to ascend the 8,126m Nanga Parbat in Pakistan’s Himalaya mountain range.
Four members from a team of Polish climbers attempting the first winter ascent of nearby K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, are to assist in the rescue operation after a Pakistani army helicopter picks them up from their base camp and flies them to Nanga Parbat.
“They will be brought from K2 to Nanga Parbat and the operation will begin,” Asghar Porik of Jasmine Tours said on Friday.
Separately, Pakistani tourism official Iqbal Hussain said the operation was to begin yesterday.
Mackiewicz and Revol got stuck at the 7,400m mark, from where they used a satellite telephone to call for help, Alpine Club of Pakistan spokesman Karrar Haidri said.
Masha Gordon, coordinator of a crowdfunding campaign for the rescue operation, said Revol managed to bring Mackiewicz down to 7,280m and set him up in a tent to spend the night.
“Eli is in the process of descending down and has last communicated from 6,671m,” Gordon said. “Although she has no tent, she is clearly lucid and is making progress on a descent to help get the rescue effort under way.”
Janusz Majer, who helped prepare the Polish expedition team scaling K2, said that messages sent by Revol said Mackiewicz was experiencing snow blindness and frostbite.
“He hid himself in a crevasse to seek protection from wind. Tomasz in the past has spent a couple of nights above 7,000m, but with all the needed equipment,” Majer said.
The crowdfunding campaign had by Friday evening raised about 62,500 euros (US$77,669), exceeding its target of 60,000 euros within several hours. The Polish government also said it would provide financial guarantees and support for the rescue operation.
Mackiewicz has made six previous attempts to scale Nanga Parbat in winter, where perceived temperatures can reach minus-60°C. The first successful winter ascent of the mountain was made as recently as February 2016.
Pakistan rivals Nepal for the number of peaks higher than 7,000m.
A Spanish man and an Argentinian in June last year perished in an avalanche while trying to scale Nanga Parbat.
‘DEEPLY DISTURBING’ In one extreme case at an Ontario nursing home, an elderly patient was believed to have choked to death while being fed lying down Conditions at Ontario nursing homes hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as described by troops helping out there, are “deeply disturbing,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. The Canadian military last month deployed troops at the height of the pandemic to five elderly care homes in the nation’s most populous province to fill severe staff shortages. The military said that it found blatant disregard for infection control measures and “horrible” care of seniors that verged on abuse, a report said. The troops said that among other forms of mistreatment, residents had been “left in beds soiled in diapers,” crying for help and
Less than two months after detecting its first COVID-19 infection, Montenegro is the first nation in Europe to declare itself free of the coronavirus, a success story the tiny nation hopes would lure tourists to its Adriatic coast this summer. For weeks hotel staff have been raking empty beaches as the pandemic kept away visitors who would normally be arriving by plane, cruise ship and road this time of year, but finally there is a sliver of hope after Montenegro announced it no longer has any active cases of COVID-19. Tourism operators have already seized the opportunity to brand Montenegro as “Europe’s
With cat photographs and sometimes scathing irony, Switzerland-based Mathieu Rebeaud biochemistry researcher has nearly tripled his Twitter following since the COVID-19 pandemic began. With 14,000 followers, he posts almost daily, giving explanations on the latest scientific research and, in particular, aims to fight misinformation that spreads as fast as the novel coronavirus. He is among a growing number of doctors, academics and institutions who in the past several weeks have adapted and amplified their scientific messaging in hopes of countering what has been termed an “infodemic” — a deluge of information, including widespread false claims, which experts have said can pose a
NEW ZEALAND PM unfazed by quake Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern barely skipped a beat when an earthquake struck during a live TV interview yesterday morning. She interrupted Newshub host Ryan Bridge to tell him what was happening at the parliament complex in the capital, Wellington. “We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here Ryan, quite a decent shake here,” she said, looking up and around the room. “But, um, if you see things moving behind me.” The magnitude 5.6 quake struck in the ocean about 100km northeast of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said. The quake hit just before 8am and