Climber Rescued on Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain,’ but Another Is in Peril

Climber Rescued on Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain,’ but Another Is in Peril


The Polish climber Tomek Mackiewicz on Nanga Parbat in Pakistan in 2014.

Michal Obrycki/Forum, via Reuters

KARACHI, Pakistan — An elite climbing team rescued a French mountain climber on Sunday from the treacherous Himalayan peak known as “Killer Mountain,” in Pakistan’s northeast, but it was unable to reach her Polish climbing partner, who remains in peril.

The climbers, Elisabeth Revol and Tomek Mackiewicz, began their ascent of Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest mountain in the world, on Jan. 20th. The two are believed to have reached the summit, at an altitude of 8,126 meters, or 26,600 feet, which would make them only the second team to do so during the notoriously harsh winter season.

During their descent, Mr. Mackiewicz is said to have had acute mountain sickness, caused by the lack of oxygen in the lower air pressure that exists at higher altitudes, as well as snow blindness and frostbite. Ms. Revol continued down the mountain alone and called for help from a satellite phone, and she was eventually met by two members of a four-person rescue team flown to the mountain’s base camp on Saturday.

She was taken to Islamabad, the capital, later in the day and received medical attention.

The extreme weather conditions — winds of more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) an hour and a wind chill nearing minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62 degrees Celsius) — forced the rescue team to at least temporarily postpone any plans to ascend further to search for Mr. Mackiewicz.

Estimates of the number of people who have died trying to climb Nanga Parbat vary, but it is believed to be more than 60. The summit is considered to be among the most difficult to climb in the world, earning it its intimidating nickname.

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