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Mountaineers stranded on Rakaposhi rescued

Mountaineers stranded on Rakaposhi rescued

A trio of mountaineers stranded in Camp III of 7,788-metre-high Rakaposhi after summitting the peak last week were on Wednesday rescued and moved to Gilgit, according to Nagar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Zulqarnain Haider.

The DC said the three climbers — a local mountaineer named Wajidullah Nagri and Jakub Vicek and Peter Macek of the Czech Republic — were rescued with the help of an army helicopter from a spot located at a height of 6,000 metres. He added that the mountaineers were sent to Gilgit via an army helicopter at around 9am on Wednesday.

Haider said the mountaineers were welcomed by government officials and politicians upon their arrival in Gilgit.

The trio of climbers had begun the ascent of Rakaposhi, one of the world’s most challenging peaks, on September 1 from the South Ridge and had reached the top on September 9. They had begun their descent the same day, the DC had earlier told Dawn, and had subsequently become stuck.

A rescue operation was then launched to retrieve them but had to be suspended midway on September 12 due to rough weather. It was later resumed, while the climbers were said to be in touch with their families through satellite communication.

The Nagar DC said on Tuesday that "rope, food, medicine and wireless [communication] sets have been delivered [to the climbers] via a helicopter."

He had further stated that a team of expert climbers was also involved in the rescue operation and that the administration had also hired the services of Sajid Ali Sadpara, the son of legendary mountaineer late Mohammad Ali Sadpara, to help in the rescue attempt.

Earlier, Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) Secretary Karrar Haidri had told Dawn that "while Nagri is in good shape and keeping in touch with us, one of the Czech climbers is suffering from frostbite and the other is sick.”

Moreover, the two Czech mountaineers were climbing without permits which had intensified their problems, he had added.

“Climbing without permits complicates the protocols of the bureaucracy for rescue operations."

Rakaposhi is the world’s 27th and Pakistan’s 12th highest peak, and Nagri, 41, is the second Pakistani to climb it. Colonel Sher Khan was the first Pakistani to scale it in 1979.

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