The rescue operation will resume on Monday; one local and two Czech climbers are stranded at 6900m altitude at Rakaposhi since Thursday
High Asia Herald Report
The search and rescue operation for the three climbers who are stranded at the Rakaposhi peak was aborted on Sunday due to bad weather, one of the rescue team members and local reporters told The High Asia Herald.
Two helicopters arrived late in the afternoon from Skardu and made aerial reconnoitring near the BC of the 7788m peak but could not locate the climbers, sources told Herald requesting anonymity.
The ground rescue team led by Abdul Joshi with Eid Mhahammd and Mansoor Karim were waiting at Nilt, Nagar District for the helicopters to airlift them up to 6000m altitude but could not continue the operation due to weather conditions as it started raining.
The operation on the ground is risky as there were no ropes fixed on the mountain, said Abdul Joshi, the summiteer of Annapurna and Passu Cones.
“The climbers could also not descend as it will trigger avalanche because of fresh snowfall on the peak,” he said.
“The climbers are feeling better now as communication contacts have been established with them,” Ali Ahmed, a Geo News reporter told The High Asia Herald.
The two helicopters flew from Skardu after some delay due to rain in the region but went back to Gilgit for refuelling, Abdul said.
The climbers have been asked to try to come down at 6000m as the helicopters may not be able to fly to 6900m altitude.
The helicopters will airlift Joshi and drop him near the site of the climbers to rescue them if the weather condition improves, he added.
The 41 years old Wajidullah from Nagar district of Gilgit-Baltistan, Peter Macek and Jakub Vicek, from the Czech Republic stranded somewhere between 6700m and 6900m.
They were descending after reaching the summit of the 7,788m high peak in the Karakoram ranges on Thursday.
The Deputy Commissioner of Nagar Zulqarnain Khan had sent a letter to the Commissioner of Gilgit Division requesting for helicopter rescue operation on Saturday but the helicopters were sent for rescue operation on Sunday afternoon.
Wajid sent a text message to his family saying they had just started going down from the top, local and national media reported.
Wajid’s brother, Khairullah told Dawn that he received a text message from his brother at around 5 pm that he and other climbers had begun the descent after reaching the summit of the mountain.
They sent an SOS sometime in the evening that they have run into trouble.
They had begun the ascent of the peak, one of the world’s most challenging, on Sept 1 from the south ridge.
Wajidullah Nagri, 41, is the second Pakistani to climb Rakaposhi after Sher Khan who scaled it in 1979.
For the first time, it was scaled by Mike Bank Tom Patey of the UK in 1958.