Two mountaineers, Elisabeth Revol from France and Tomasz Mackiewicz, from Poland, had been climbing the Himalayan peak Nanga Parbat, which is 8,126 metres (26,660ft) high, the ninth highest peak in the world, when Mackiewicz developed frostbite and snow blindness on Friday after reaching about 7,400 meters. Revol helped her climbing partner descend a few hundred metres and set up tent, before going further down to call for help on a satellite phone.
Elite rescuers climbed more than 1,000 meters to reach Elisabeth Revol in the middle of the night. They were forced to make the heartbreaking decision not to go on to find Tomasz Mackiewicz because “is unfortunately not possible because of the weather and altitude would put the life of rescuers in extreme danger,”as Ludovic Giambiasi said. “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,” they said.
It was a very complex rescue operation.The elite mountaineers Adam Bielicki and Denis Urubko began their rescue ascent on Saturday evening, trying to reach Revol while the winter weather remained clear enough to allow them to climb. Meanwhile, helicopters from Askari Aviation, owned by the Pakistani military, flew around the mountain to find Revol and Mackiewicz, after the batteries on their tracker and satellite phone had gone flat. Nanga Parbat obtained its “Killer Mountain” nickname because of the number of lives it has claimed over the years. The first successful winter ascent of the mountain was made as recently as February 2016.