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    Sunday, 1 July 2018

    Two foreign mountaineers stuck in avalanche at Ultar Sar Peak rescued, One killed

    Pakistan Army pilots have successfully rescued the two foreign mountaineers who were stuck in a snow avalanche at above 19,000 feet high Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza Valley of Gilgit Baltistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Sunday.
    According to Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, director general of the ISPR, climbers Bruce Normand and Miller Timothy from the UK were rescued alive; however, Christian Huber from Austria did not survive.Abdul Karim, a tour operator, had told Dawn on Saturday that the three mountaineers — Huber, Normand and Miller — were sleeping in their tents when an avalanche hit them.
    Karim had confirmed that Huber died in the incident while the two other mountaineers were injured but were out of danger.

    Rescue operation at 19,000 feet high Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza. — Photo courtesy ISPR
    Rescue operation at 19,000 feet high Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza. 

    The three-member expedition started in late May and was permitted to go till the first week of July. The team was being managed by Higher Ground Expeditions, a tour operating company in Hunza Valley.
    Karrar Haidri, a spokesman for the Alpine Club of Pakistan, had also confirmed the incident and said: “The Ultar peak has claimed a number of lives and seen only a few successful summits.”
    Huber, he said, was the president of the American Alpine Club.
    He added that three groups of foreign climbers were currently trying to scale K2, the second highest mountain in the world.
    In January, volunteers rescued a French mountaineer stranded on a Himalayan peak but called off efforts to retrieve a Polish climber who was declared dead after a dramatic rescue effort.
    Elisabeth Revol and Tomasz Mackiewicz were climbing Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest peak in the world at 8,126 meters (26,660 feet), but called for help.
    Four volunteers from a separate Polish expedition set out to find them and managed to reach Revol, a renowned mountaineer who was suffering from frostbite on her feet and could not walk. Poor weather, however, prevented the team from reaching Mackiewicz, who had snow blindness and altitude sickness.
    One member of a three-man mountaineering expedition has died in an avalanche on a more than 7,000-metre high peak in Pakistan, officials said on Saturday.

    Alpine Club of Pakistan secretary Karrar Haidri said Austrian mountaineer Christian Huber was killed when an avalanche hit the climbers' tent on Friday night during a strong storm at a height of 5,900 metres on Ultar Sar Peak in the Hunza Valley .
    Officials said the other two mountaineers in the group, Britons Bruce Normand and Timothy Miller, suffered injuries but were safe and helicopters were being sent to rescue them.
    The three-member expedition started in late May and was permitted to go till the first week of July. The team was being managed by Higher Ground Expeditions, a tour operating company in Hunza Valley .
    Higher Ground employee Abdul Karim Zouqi said a rescue helicopter will pick up the two survivors once the crew gets a weather clearance to do so. He said the body of the deceased mountaineer and his gear were found and would be brought back.
    However, Zouqi said expedition leader Normand emailed him saying the weather was getting worse. In January, volunteers rescued a French mountaineer stranded on a Himalayan peak but called off efforts to retrieve a Polish climber who was declared dead after a dramatic rescue effort.
    Elisabeth Revol and Tomasz Mackiewicz were climbing Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest peak in the world at 8,126 meters (26,660 feet), but called for help.
    Four volunteers from a separate Polish expedition set out to find them and managed to reach Revol, a renowned mountaineer who was suffering from frostbite on her feet and could not walk. Poor weather prevented the team from reaching Mackiewicz, who had snow blindness and altitude sickness.
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