After a Dramatic Rescue, a 'Terrible and Painful Decision'

Climber declared dead on 'Killer Mountain'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2018 4:04 AM CST
Updated Jan 29, 2018 6:21 AM CST
Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest mountain in the world, is seen in Pakistan.   (AP Photo/Musaf Zaman Kazmi, File)

(Newser) – Climbing partners Elisabeth Revol and Tomasz Mackiewicz are believed to have achieved their goal of reaching the summit of Pakistan's notorious "Killer Mountain" in winter—but at a terrible cost. The pair called for help from Nanga Parbat on Friday and Revol, a French national, was brought down early Sunday after a dramatic overnight rescue effort by a team of Polish climbers who'd been on the nearby K2 peak, the BBC reports. Revol, who is being treated for extreme frostbite on her hands and feet, had become separated from Mackiewicz. Treacherous weather conditions made it impossible for the team to reach the 42-year-old Polish citizen, who had snow blindness and altitude sickness, and he has now been declared dead, the AP reports.

"The rescue for Tomasz is unfortunately not possible—because of the weather and altitude it would put the life of rescuers in extreme danger," Revol's trainer, Ludovic Giambiasi, wrote on Facebook. "It's a terrible and painful decision. All our thoughts go out to Tomek’s family and friends. We are crying." Fellow climber Masha Gordon says leftover money from a frantic effort to raise funds for the rescue mission will be given to Mackiewicz's widow and their three children. The effort paid for a military helicopter to bring the Polish rescuers to Nanga Parbat, the world's ninth-highest mountain. This was the seventh expedition to the mountain for Mackiewicz, whose love for the peak had been described as "verging on mania," the New York Times reports. (At least 60 people have died on the mountain, including two who perished last year.)

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