(ExplorersWeb/Madrid) Six Tibetan-Chinese Mountaineering Association climbers were injured in an avalanche while fixing the route on Cho Oyu on Friday afternoon. They were dug out and assisted down back to ABC in storm conditions, then taken further down to BC and driven off on Saturday.
Rescue in storm conditions
"At 8PM on Friday, our Dr. Alenka and I went up to the Swiss Camp where the first four Tibetan climbers were sitting in chairs, bruised, battered and with injuries ranging from banged up arms to concussion and snow blindness," Jagged-Globe member Robert Anderson reported Saturday.
"They had been hit by an avalanche at close to 8,000 meters while fixing ropes. The slide had carried them down over the Yellow Band, a distinctive nearly-vertical cliff, then down onto the steep snow slopes above C3. By noon they had been dug out and managed to make their way down to C2, then C1 and onto Base Camp."
"An hour after the first four were stabilized and sent off to bed to wait out the blinding snowstorm, two more arrived, with leg and head injuries. Finally about midnight the final Tibetan climber was carried in out of the blizzard, a blast of healamps flickering and darting through the snow as he was laid out, clothes cut off and examined."
"With head injuries, a very painful rib, lower back and leg pain, Alenka stabilized him, we wrapped him back up with hot water bottles and oxygen and packaged him back into the sled for a further carry down the mountain in the dead of night."
"With Dr. Alenka monitoring vitals, and Tomas roused from bed at 1:30AM, they set off down the glacier for the five hour trek to the roadhead through the snow. At 7:30AM, Tomas called and the patient was in the land cruiser headed down and they were making the walk back to Base Camp."
"We are hoping to get some climbers back up to finish the rope-fixing above C3 once the slopes have stabilized from the recent snowfall," IMG's Mike Hamill reported. "If the weather and conditions continue to improve, the IMG team is on track to launch their summit bid in the next few days."
Jagged Globe members will wait out the current spell of bad weather before deciding on further moves up the hill.
Links to Cho Oyu fall 2010 teams:
C.A.B.A. Argentinean Team
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