A Polish climber was presumed dead after rescuers called off efforts to recover him from Nanga Parbat, one of the highest mountains in the world, a Pakistani official said today. Tomasz Mackiewicz of Poland and Elisabeth Revol of France were trying to climb the 8,126-metre-tall Himalayan peak located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan and known as the ‘killer mountain’ among the mountaineer community. The two went missing on Thursday after sending a message that they were reportedly stuck at more than 7,500 metres altitude in freezing temperature. Two Pakistan Army helicopters started operation yesterday on the request of the Polish and French embassies with the help of climbers from Poland, who separately were trying to scale K-2 in the same region.
Karrar Haidri, a top official in the Pakistan Alpine Federation, said the four volunteer were airlifted to the Nanga Parbat and dropped as close to the two climbers as the helicopters could go. “They were able to rescue Elisabeth Revol but could not reach Tomasz Mackiewicz,” Haidri said. Later, Haidri said that Mackiewicz has been “presumed dead”. He said the rescuers left the body at 7,400 meters as they could not bring it down. “The rescue of Tomasz is unfortunately not possible because of the weather and altitude it would put the life of the rescuers in extreme danger,” wrote Ludovic Giambiasi, a friend who is posting regular updates on Facebook, “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.”
Revol was later shifted to Islamabad and local TV footage showed her in a good condition. Mackiewicz had tried to climb it on winter for six times but could not succeed, according to Haidri.