Rescuers call off efforts to save Polish climber from Pakistan mountain

Volunteers were able to rescue a French mountaineer from a Himalayan peak, but called off efforts to retrieve a Polish climber, who was declared deceased, a Pakistani official said Sunday.

Karrar Haidri, a top official in the Pakistan Alpine Federation, says volunteer rescuers from a separate Polish expedition were prevented by poor weather from reaching Tomasz Mackiewicz of Poland, who was suffering from snow blindness and altitude sickness.

Elisabeth Revol, who has frostbite on her feet and cannot walk, was brought on Sunday from Skardu to Islamabad where she was admitted to Shifa International Hospital, said Haidri. A physician at the hospital said she was in stable condition and her wounds were not life threatening. He spoke on condition of anonymity as per the hospital’s policy

Dramatic rescue from Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’2:15

The two were attempting to summit Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest peak in the world at 8,126 metres (26,660 feet). They became separated after getting stuck at around 7,300 metres on Friday.

Four elite climbers from Poland, who were attempting the first winter ascent of nearby K2, rushed to the rescue. They were dropped off on Nanga Parbat by a Pakistani military helicopter before two of them scaled the mountain in the dead of night early Sunday.

After hours of searching, in what has been described as a dramatic rescue, they found Revol alive.

“The rescue of Tomasz is unfortunately not possible — because of the weather and altitude it would put the life of the rescuers in extreme danger,” wrote Ludovic Giambiasi, a friend who is posting regular updates on Facebook, “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.”

Pakistan Mountaineers Rescue

Nanga Parbat, in northern Pakistan, is the ninth highest mountain in the world. (Musaf Zaman Kazmi/Associated Press)

The French consul in Islamabad is following the rescue operation closely and is in touch with Revol’s family, who are currently in France, a French official said on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to be named publicly.

Revol’s friends raised some 60,000 euros ($ 91,500 Cdn) to help with the rescue operation through crowdfunding online, according to French media reports.

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