Stranded Finnish, Canadian climbers rescued from Baltoro glacier

Updated February 10, 2020

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this photo released by the ISPR shows mountaineers Donald Allen Bowie and Lotta Henriikka Nakyva sitting in a helicopter after being rescued on Sunday.
this photo released by the ISPR shows mountaineers Donald Allen Bowie and Lotta Henriikka Nakyva sitting in a helicopter after being rescued on Sunday.

ISLAMABAD/GILGIT: An army helicopter on Sunday rescued two foreign climbers, Donald Allen Bowie and Lotta Henriikka Nakyva, who were attempting to ­summit Broad Peak, Baltoro Glacier.

According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan Army Aviation pilots rescued two foreign mountaineers from Baltoro Glacier.

The Canadian and Finnish climbers were part of a three-member international expedition that was being led by Polish climber Denis Urubko. The trio had been acclimatising on Broad Peak, in the Karakoram Range and the 12th highest mountain in the world.

Canadian Bowie and former Miss Finland Lotta were stranded after they fell sick during ascent of the 8,051 metres peak.

Bowie instagramed that throughout this entire expedition he fought every day as hard as he could, climbing in the bitter cold day in and day out, staying committed and focused and determined to summit. “However, ever since my early chest infections, my coughing has become worse and worse. Each night my lungs became more congested, my coughing fits more frequent and violent,” Bowie stated.

Last week, the expedition members were able to climb as high as 7,650 metres, but were forced to abandon their attempt after the climbers ran short of ropes. “A lot of crevasses between camp II and camp III,” Alpine Club of Pakistan secretary Karrar Haidri quoted Denis Urubko as saying. The climbers were too tired to break trail, it was becoming too risky, and they had little time as strong winds were drawing in.

Mr Haidri told Dawn on Sunday that fans, friends and family were closely following the trio’s progress. “It is one of the most anticipated attempts this winter season,” he said. Despite the setback, team leader Denis Urubko has decided to stay back and attempt to summit Broad Peak solo. Ropes have been fixed as high as 7,500 metres.

“He has over two weeks before meteorological winter finishes at the end of February. For someone like Denis Urubko, who solo climbed Gasherbrum II in a blazingly fast 48 hours last summer, this is enough time for him to succeed,” Mr Haidri said.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2020