Bad Weather Aborts Nanga Parbat Rescue Until Tomorrow

Gelje Sherpa and the helicopter pilots made two attempts to reach Camp 3 on Nanga Parbat this morning to rescue stranded climbers Shehroze Kashif and Fazal Ali. Bad weather, including whiteout conditions, forced them back both times. They will try again tomorrow. The weather looks good for the next 24 hours.

“The clouds were so thick we could not even see the mountain, let alone locate the climbers,” Gelje told Everest Chronicle. He posted a video shot from inside the helicopter to illustrate his point.

Still from Gelje Sherpa’s video of a fog-enveloped Nanga Parbat.

 

Meanwhile, the stranded climbers have been out of contact since yesterday evening. Even Kashif’s tracker is off. Bad weather caught the pair at around 7,300m as they descended from the summit. They spent the night in the open. This morning, they were spotted slowly walking down to Camp 3.

“We don’t know the physical condition of the climbers, but the route below Camp 3 is technical and requires rappelling, hence the rescue,” explained Gelje Sherpa.

The entire Kinshoffer Route on Nanga Parbat is visible from Base Camp. However, the weather was bad yesterday, with no visibility from 5,500m upward. It had improved by this morning but worsened throughout the day.

Kashif, currently 20 years old, is trying to become the youngest to climb all 14 8,000’ers. Nanga Parbat was his eighth summit.

Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita, Shehroze Kashif, and Kristin Harila share a moment.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive,and a published author.