Rescue operation for mountaineers stranded at Rakaposhi continues for third straight day

Published September 14, 2021
Wajidullah Nagri (L) and Jakub Vicek and Peter Macek of the Czech Republic pose for a photograph. — Photo by Jamil Nagri
Wajidullah Nagri (L) and Jakub Vicek and Peter Macek of the Czech Republic pose for a photograph. — Photo by Jamil Nagri

The rescue operation to retrieve a trio of climbers stranded in Camp III of 7,788-metre-high Rakaposhi continued for a third day on Tuesday, with food and other supplies helicoptered to them, according to Nagar's deputy commissioner (DC).

"Rope, food, medicine and wireless [communication] sets have been delivered via a helicopter," said Nagar DC Zulqarnain Haider.

He said a team of expert climbers was also involved in the rescue operation and that the administration had also hired the services of Sajid Ali Sadpara, the son of legendary mountaineer late Mohammad Ali Sadpara, to help in the rescue attempt.

Read: Mohammad Ali Sadpara: Porter, family man and tough as nails mountaineer

Haider said the climbers would be rescued through a helicopter once they descend to a height of 6,000m.

Local climber Wajidullah Nagri along with Jakub Vicek and Peter Macek of the Czech Republic had scaled Rakaposhi on September 9. They had subsequently become stuck, with rough weather hindering rescue operations on Sunday.

Sources had said that during the first round of the rescue operation, pilots had flown flights above an altitude of 6,000m but the mountain was wrapped in clouds and the winds were too strong. The helicopters had, thus, returned to Gilgit for refuelling.

The second round was also not successful due to bad weather conditions on the peak. The stranded climbers were in touch with their families through satellite communication.

"While Nagri is in good shape and keeping in touch with us, one of the Czech climbers is suffering from frostbite and the other is sick,” Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) Secretary Karrar Haidri had told Dawn.

Furthermore, the two Czech mountaineers were climbing without permits which had intensified their problems. “Climbing without permits complicates the protocols of the bureaucracy for rescue operations,” Haidri had said

Rakaposhi is the world’s 27th and Pakistan’s 12th highest peak.

Nagri is only the second Pakistani climber to summit Rakaposhi after Sher Khan did it over 40 years ago. According to ACP, Rakaposhi is the only mountain in the world whose climb involves gaining over 5,000 vertical metres from the base camp to the summit.

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