Rakaposhi, Day 4 : Climbers Overnight at 6,200m

Alpine style Karakorum
Sajid Sadpara is already with the rescue team in the Nagar Valley. Photo: Gilgit Treks and Tours

After dark in Pakistan, the situation of the climbers in trouble on Rakaposhi has improved from previous days, but they are still far from safe.

Earlier today, a helicopter managed to drop fresh supplies and ropes. Spurred on by the rescue team in Base Camp, Wajidullah Nagri of Pakistan and Jakub Vlcek and Peter Macek of the Czech Republic finally forced themselves to pack up and start moving down from 6,900m.

Today, they managed to lose 700 vertical metres. But at 6,200m, they refused to proceed further. They mentioned crevasses and worsening visibility. A helicopter has tried to bring them a new tent and dry clothes, but bad weather forced it back, Karim Shah Nizari told ExplorersWeb.

Worsening weather has prevented the helicopter pilots from dropping the stranded climbers dry clothes and a tent. Photo: Karim Shah Nizari

The three will have to overnight with whatever they brought with them from Camp 3, then continue further down tomorrow. They still need to pass the “Monk’s head” outcrop and then rappel down a steep 60-degree section of snow and ice between 6,200m and 5,800m.

If they manage that, their chances will improve significantly. That flatter area may allow helicopter pilots to pick them up. According to Karim Shah Nizari, the helicopter could even pick them up with a long line as low as 6,000m.

Meanwhile, Sajid Sadpara has joined the rest of the rescuers at the foot of Rakaposhi. Tomorrow, he will join forces with Abdul Joshi, Karim Hayat, and Wahab (surname not provided). If the climbers are too weak to descend further it will be their job to reach them. We won’t know till tomorrow, however, whether a helicopter will be able to give them a head start up the mountain.


About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Benny Smith
Benny Smith
2 months ago

Respect for the Pakistani rescue team! Sajid, Abdul and their companions show what it takes to be a real mountaineer: helping fellow climbers!

2 months ago

All the climbers have been rescued.

Thor Kieser
2 months ago

I attempted Rakaposhi in 1991. We were caught in a terrible storm at 6300 meters for six days. One member of our team came down with hepatitis A during the storm. We dragged him off the mountain. There were no helicopters nor international coverage of our plight. We survived using experience and skill. To me all this expensive effort and press is just pathetic. If you set off up Rakaposhi you damn well need to be prepared to save your own ass without help. Modern mountaineering with sat phones is just not real self sufficiency which is what climbing is… Read more »

Oskar Leszczynski
Oskar Leszczynski
2 months ago
Reply to  Thor Kieser

You’re exactly right. It’s not an adventure if you could bust out a satellite phone and call in a rescue. That’s some weak shit, be prepared for anything. You risk the lives of all rescuers at that point.