By Asem Mustafa Awan
Islamabad – French Elisabeth Revol 37, made it home safely with frost bite on both hands and left foot after a heroic rescue made by the polish team attempting K-2 8611 meters.
The French woman along with Polish Tomaz Mackiewicz was attempting Nanga Parbat 8125 meters in winter. The two made the summit but on the way down the polish climber suffered high altitude sickness and blindness and a tough decision was made as it was impossible to rescue the polish climber stranded over 7000 meters.
Elisabeth Revol descended down in the dark leaving Tomek Mackiewicz and was airlifted to Islamabad.
The airlift from the mountain also left a few queries and this scribe will share it with the readers about the details that how it works.
“The rules are written and very simple. Every expedition in need of airlift in case of emergency has to deposit 15000 US dollars before the start of the expedition and this amount is returned if there is no air rescue,” said a source in Askari Aviation adding,” An amount of 300 US dollars is deducted from 15000 US dollars as service charges.”
“It’s all written and has been in place for many years and it’s the rule.”
Answering a query he said,” The army helicopters are used in the rescue operations airlifting the mountaineers and the helicopters are stationed at different points. From Skardu to K-2 Base Camp at 5000 meters is hour and a half flying time one way besides an hour and half response time to strip the helicopter of additional weight for lifting the stranded climbers.”
Answering a query about the French climber airlift the official said,” It happened last Friday we were asked to conduct the rescue and we told them that the expedition never asked for the service and to this the diplomatic mission deposited the 15000 US dollars late Friday afternoon.”
The mission was carried on Saturday morning the rescue team from Poland was picked up from K-2 base camp and dropped off at Nanga Parbat. Two helicopters were used and a little over 10 hours of flying time was taken to drop off the rescue team. The terrain is very dangerous and air is thin besides no regular strip to land the helicopter on the mountain.”
Tomaz has attempted Nanga Parbat six times in the past and on his seventh attempt he made the summit.
May his soul rest in peace. Amen