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Two Pakistani helicopters attempted to rescue Tomaz Humar from partway up the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat today, but clouds prevented the choppers from plucking the Slovenian alpinist from the wall or delivering supplies to him. Humar is trapped about one-third of the way up 26,657-foot Nanga Parbat.
On August 2, Humar set off alone to attempt an unclimbed route on the Rupal Face, considered the largest mountain wall in the world, but very poor snow conditions and weather forced him to abort the climb at around 21,500 feet. After three terrible bivouacs, unable to find a way off the face, Humar descended to around 19,400 feet and dug into the top of a narrow snow arête, hoping to avoid the nearly continuous snow slides on either side of him. His team in basecamp called for a rescue, and a helicopter soon arrived but did not have the power to attempt a rescue. Although the more powerful Lama helicopters that arrived today were unable to reach Humar, weather conditions continue to improve and Humar’s team hopes to try again early on August 10 (the evening of August 9 in North America). Meanwhile, the wet and possibly frostbitten alpinist is hunkering down for his eighth night on the face.
For updates on the situation, see www.humar.com/en/news.php.
A Pakistani helicopter heads toward Nanga Parbat in today’s unsuccessful bid to rescue Tomaz Humar.Photo courtesy of www.humar.com.