Russian climber stuck on Biafo Glacier saved by Pak Army in daring rescue

Published July 31, 2018
Russian climber Alexander Gukov was stranded on Biafo Glacier's Latok Top since July 25. ─ Photo courtesy ISPR
Russian climber Alexander Gukov was stranded on Biafo Glacier's Latok Top since July 25. ─ Photo courtesy ISPR

In a daring rescue attempt early on Tuesday, Pakistan Army aviation pilots rescued Russian climber Alexander Gukov who was stuck 20,650 feet above sea level on Biafo Glacier's Latok Peak, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Alexander Gukov was transported to CMH Skardu. ─ Photo courtesy ISPR
Alexander Gukov was transported to CMH Skardu. ─ Photo courtesy ISPR

Gukov was shifted to Combined Military Hospital Skardu for medical care, the army's media wing said in its press release.

A photograph of Alexander Gukov's position on Latok Top at 20,630 feet. ─ Photo courtesy ISPR
A photograph of Alexander Gukov's position on Latok Top at 20,630 feet. ─ Photo courtesy ISPR

"The unprecedented rescue mission was undertaken by Pakistan Army aviation helicopters under extreme weather conditions, making it the first ever rescue from such a height in Pakistan," the ISPR added.

Gukov had been stuck on Latok Top since July 25 and had exhausted his supplies three days ago. At least seven rescue attempts had been made between 26 to 30 July, but due to snow clouds, the climber could not be located and rescued, the ISPR said.

Later in the day, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa visited the Russian mountaineer at Rawalpindi CMH and inquired about his health.

This is the second rescue mission undertaken by the army this month.

On July 1, two foreign mountaineers stuck in an avalanche at above 19,000 feet on Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza Valley were saved by Pak Army pilots. British climbers Bruce Normand and Miller Timothy were rescued alive, but Austrai's Christian Huber did not survive.

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