Nanga Parbat Rescue Update: Bad Weather Grounds Helicopters

A fresh update from Nanga Parbat shows the situation is not improving. While the helicopter pilots obtained permission to perform long-line operations and drop rescuers, bad weather settled in. The helicopters will not fly anywhere today.

Israfil Ashurli of Azerbaijan on the summit of Makalu in spring this year.

Israfil Ashurli of Azerbaijan on the summit of Makalu in spring this year. Photo: Israfil Ashurli


Asif Bhatti’s life is now entirely dependent on his own strength and a group of climbers who went up from Camp 3 to help him. Israfil Ashurli of Azerbaijan and a group of unidentified climbers reached Bhatti in Camp 4 yesterday. This morning, they started to descend.

Sources have mentioned that at least some of the climbers helping Bhatti are Italian. There is an Italian team on the mountain, led by IFMGA guide Mario Vielmo, who summited yesterday.

Mario Vielmo in the Alps last winter.

Mario Vielmo in the Alps last winter. Photo: Mario Vielmo


According to Vielmo’s home team, Nicola Bonaiti, Valerio Annovazzi, Juan Pablo Toro of Argentina, and Muhammed Hussein of Pakistan summited late in the day and intended to rest at a higher camp before descending today.

False alarm

Yesterday, there was some concern for Fazal Ali. With no recent news, Ali’s daughter raised the alarm. Thankfully, it was later confirmed that Ali was back in Base Camp. The family’s worries were justified: Bad weather stranded Ali on Nanga Parbat last year as he descended from the summit with Shehroze Kashif.

Ghulam Abbas from Hushe summited Nanga Parbat on Sunday but his name was not included on any of the published summit lists. “The absence of news/updates caused a panic situation for his family and friends,” The Karakoram Club blog reported. Finally, he checked in safe and sound from Base Camp.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering 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 corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.