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Elite climbing team save French woman from Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’

Tomasz Mackiewicz, wearing a green climbing coat, is pictured on top of a snow-white mountain rangeImage copyrightReuters
Image caption The search for Polish climber Tomasz Mackiewicz has been called off

A French climber stranded on top of one of Pakistan’s most deadly mountains is safe after a dramatic rescue operation.

The search for her Polish climbing partner, however, has been called off.

Elisabeth Revol and Tomasz Mackiewicz were climbing Nanga Parbat, nicknamed “Killer Mountain”, when they got stuck at 7,400m (24,280ft) on Friday.

Elite climbing team save French woman from Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’
Elite climbing team save French woman from Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’

An elite climbing team from Poland who were on nearby K2 rushed to the rescue, scaling the mountain overnight to find Ms Revol alive.

Four members of the team, who had been attempting the first winter ascent of K2 – the second highest mountain in the world – were brought to Nanga Parbat by a Pakistani military helicopter.

They were dropped off about 1,000 metres below the lost climbers’ last known location.

Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki began the climb while Jaroslaw Botor and Piotr Tomala established a camp.

Contact with Ms Revol and Mr Mackiewicz had been lost as the team climbed towards their last known location.

Then, in the early hours of Sunday morning local time, the climbing team’s Facebook page announced: “Elisabeth Revol found!”

Tomasz Mackiewicz, however, had been separated from Ms Revol. Earlier reports said that he had been suffering from frostbite and snow blindness.

Ludovic Giambiasi, a friend of Ms Revol’s who had been in sporadic contact with her, said the climbers would rest for an hour or two in the open air before beginning the descent with Mr Revol.

Skip Facebook post by Ludovic

#NangaParbatDecision of the rescue team: Urubko and Bielecki will go down with Elisabeth. Tomorrow morning at around…

Posted by Ludovic Giambiasi on Saturday, 27 January 2018

End of Facebook post by Ludovic

“The rescue for Tomasz is unfortunately not possible,” he wrote. “Because of the weather and altitude it would put the life of rescuers in extreme danger.

“It’s a terrible and painful decision. We are in deep sadness. All our thoughts go out to Tomek’s family and friends. We are crying.”

All five climbers still alive are expected to be evacuated by helicopter to the town of Skardu later on Sunday.

Image copyrightGetty Images

A crowdfunding campaign to pay for the rescue attempt had raised more than $100,000 (£74,000) by the time the news of Ms Revol’s safety emerged.

Masha Gordon, who set up the crowdfunding campaign, posted an update to the 4,000 supporters: “we are crying from happiness”.

You may also be interested in:

Mountaineers nicknamed Nanga Parbat, in northern Pakistan, “Killer Mountain” after more than 30 climbers died trying to conquer it before the first successful summit in 1953.

Last year, a Spaniard and an Argentinean were presumed dead in an avalanche after they went missing trying to scale the peak.

In 2013, gunmen killed 10 foreign climbers and their Pakistani guide at the Nanga Parbat base camp.

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