Two mountaineers stranded in Hunza avalanche rescued


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army teams rescued two British mountaineers stranded on Ultar Sar mountain located in Hunza Valley after an avalanche hit their tent, a local police official said on Sunday.

The injured mountaineers identified as Bruce Normand and Timothy Miller were en route Gilgit via an army helicopter, the Hunza assistant commissioner said.

“The body of Austrian mountaineer Christian Huber, who was killed in the incident, is also being taken to Gilgit,” he further said.

Moreover, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted on Sunday: “Pakistan Army pilots in a daring mission rescued 3 foreign mountaineers stuck in snow avalanche at above 19000 feet high Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza. Bruce Normand & Miller Timothy from the UK successfully rescued alive while Christian Huber from Austria had succumbed to avalanche.”

Efforts were underway since Saturday to rescue the two British mountaineers and bring back Huber’s body after their tent was hit by an avalanche 5,900 metres up Ultar Sar mountain.

An army helicopter could not carry out a rescue operation on Saturday due to bad weather on the 7,388 metres high Ultar Sar.

Northern Pakistan is a magnet for mountaineers and is home to some of the tallest mountains in the world, including K2 — at 8,611 metres, the world’s second highest peak, but often deemed a more challenging climb than the highest, Mount Everest.

Nestled between the western end of the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush mountains and the Karakoram range, Gilgit-Baltistan houses 18 of the world’s 50 highest peaks.

It is also home to three of the world’s seven longest glaciers outside the polar regions. Hundreds of its mountains have never been climbed.

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew, praised the “remarkable and dangerous” rescue operation by Pakistan Army. “A remarkable and dangerous rescue. Our gratitude to the Pakistan Army pilots who rescued two British climbers trapped by an avalanche on Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza. Our thoughts with their Austrian fellow climber who did not survive the avalanche.”


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