Rescue Mission on Nanga Parbat - Elisabeth Rescued to Skardu

Tomek Mackiewicz and Elisabeth Revol are in need of help on Nanga Parbat. They launched summit-push from C3 (7300m) on Jan 25th. While precise details of summit-push are unavailable at the moment (reports say, they made it to the summit), it’s known that Tomek suffered altitude sickness on the way back. He became snow blind and suffered frostbites.

On January 26th, the home-team of two climbers initiated a funding request to arrange helicopter rescue. They planned to pick up a group of climbers from K2 BC (members of Polish winter expedition) and fly to Nanga Parbat. The rescue mission is currently underway.

After initial delay, two helicopters finally flew to K2 BC this noon. They picked up four men, Denis Urubko, Adam Bielecki, Piotr Tomala and high altitude medical specialist Jarosław Bator; returned to Skardu, refuelled and dropped the men at the base of Kinshofer route on Nanga Parbat, at around 4900m. Given the weather conditions and topography of the mountain, presumably the helicopter couldn't set off rescue team any higher.

Denis and Adam started the sprint up the mountain immediately, while Tomala and Bator stayed behind. As per latest update, the lead climbers have reached above 5800m. They intend to continue the ascent throughout the night. Having spent nights at 6300m on K2 and availability of bottled oxygen if required, Denis and Adam are well prepared for the task. They are extremely strong and well experienced for such a mission.

Kinshofer route is quite complicated in lower section of the mountain; steep slope, possibility of blue ice and the rocky Kinshofer Wall. However, it’s reported that the route is in good condition.

Meanwhile, on the mountain, Tomek Mackiewicz' last location is from yesterday (Jan 26th) morning. He was assisted down to tent at 7200m, and was suffering from Altitude Sickness. Elisabeth continued the descent and spent night at 6700m (possibly without a tent). In last text message this morning, she said, "I am OK, very thirsty and hungry." Although, several of her toes were frostbitten. The French lady intended to continue descent till the point, she could find old fixed ropes.

The weather on Nanga Parbat is not favourable at the moment. Hurricane winds sweep slopes of the mountain. Although route from C1 to C2 is a somewhat protected.

Update | 28-Jan-2018 00:30hrs
Adam and Denis are apparently above the technical barrier, Kinshofer Wall, approximately at 6000m now, as per latest update from home-team.

Meanwhile, Elisabeth was able to extract some energy out of her satellite phone batteries and send a message at around 21:00 hrs local time, "I keep going down". Hopefully, she will receive the help in next few hours. Her home-team has already made the arrangements for her treatment in BC, back to a hospital in Islamabad and to France.

Unfortunately, situation remains critical for Tomek.

Update | 28-Jan-2018 02:10hrs
Reached Elisabeth!

Denis Urubko and Adam Bielecki have met Elisabeth in the vicinity of C2 (6100m). She will now be assisted to lower altitudes, where Piotr Tomala and Jarosław Bator await with medical supplies.

Further course of action to reach Tomek isn't known at the moment.

Update | 28-Jan-2018 09:00hrs
Adam and Denis are descending with Elisabeth. Tracker shows they're right above Kinshofer Wall.

It has been decided that an attempt to reach Tomek will not be possible under current weather conditions.

For a speedy ascent, Adam and Denis climbed with light backpacks yesterday. They do not even have a tent. After such a grueling climb in extreme weather, asking them to go further up while wind rages above 80km/h is dangerous and possibly fatal. Besides, they still have to get Elisabeth down to safety.

A helicopter is schedule to pick rescue team from 4900m, if weather allows.

Update | 28-Jan-2018 16:00hrs
Elisabeth Revol and rescue team (Denis, Adam, Tomala and Botor) have safely boarded the helicopter and are on the way to Skardu. Elisa will soon be shifted to Islamabad. K2 team will return to the mountain in due course of time.

They were picked up near BC, as helicopter couldn't land at designated site at 4800m.

Tomek unfortunately remains unaccounted for. The conditions are too difficult and dangerous for a rescue attempt.

[Frequent updates are posted on Twitter and Facebook]

Photos from Nanga Parbat Winter 2016 Expedition:-

Kinshofer route

 The Kinshofer Wall

Climbers between C1 and C2

Between C2 and C3

Weather-Forecast at 7500m altitude on Nanga Parbat
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