Happy end to a dramatic rescue operation: After being stuck for days on the 7,788-meter-high Rakaposhi in northern Pakistan at 6,900 meters, the two Czechs Petr Macek and Jakub Vlcek and the Pakistani climber Wajid Ullah Nagri were able to descend several hundred meters on their own yesterday (Tuesday). Today they were finally rescued by helicopter from an altitude of 6,200 meters. All three are said to be doing well under the circumstances.
Macek, Vlcek and Nagri had reached the summit on Thursday last week, according to media reports. On the descent, they got into trouble in bad weather and were stuck in their Camp 3 at 6,900 meters. Reportedly, one of the two Czechs was suffering from high altitude sickness, both of them from frostbite, it was said. Apparently, the trio also lacked ropes to continue their descent.
Food and ropes dropped
The rescue operation, led by Pakistani climber Abdul Joshi, began last Saturday. Helicopters of the Pakistani army took off several times but were initially unable to reach the trio due to bad weather. Finally, on Tuesday, food, medicine, a radio and ropes were dropped from a helicopter to the exhausted climbers. They were then able to continue their descent.
Rakaposhi, located about 100 kilometers north of the city of Gilgit, was first ascended in 1958 by the two Britons Mike Banks and Tom Patey. From the base camp to the summit there are more than 4,000 meters of altitude to climb. In 2020, the two Japanese Kazuya Hiraide and Kenro Nakajimo were awarded the Piolet d’Or, the “Oscar of climbers”, for their new route via the South Face and the Southeast Ridge of Rakaposhi.