Rescue operation for stranded Pakistani climber delayed due to rockfall

Asif Bhatti is suffering from snow blindness

By Web Desk
July 05, 2023
Asif Bhatti is currently at camp three of Nanga Parbat — Alpine Club of Pakistan

The rescue operation of stranded Pakistani mountaineer Asif Bhatti, who is also a university professor, has been delayed due to rockfall at Nanga Parbat on Wednesday.

Bhatti, who is suffering from snow blindness, made his way to camp three yesterday after getting stuck on camp four on Monday. He is descending with the help of Israfyl, a climber from Azerbaijan.

Climbers Shah Daulat and Mohammad Yonus are the volunteers who are part of the rescue team looking to bring Bhatti to safety.

“The two volunteer climbers who went for upper slopes of NP [Nanga Parbat] last night couldn't go any further from C1 due to rockfall which started on the mountain last night,” the Karakoram Club tweeted from their official account on Wednesday.

“The weather seems to be getting worse and Heli [helicopter] rescue is the only hope unless a miracle happens and climbers are able to come down on their own. Prayers for everyone on the mountain and the basecamp,” it added.

Meanwhile, Asif Khoja, Social Media Incharge and point of contact for Bhatti, has stated that “Dr bhatti’s health is deteriorating and helicopter sling operation seems the only solution”.

“Immediate actions and decisions are required to save the life of Professor Bhatti,” he added.

The 8,126-metre Nanga Parbat, which is the ninth-highest mountain in the world, is considered dangerous due to its high fatality rate. The mountain has a daunting ascent along with the risk of unstable glaciers, avalanches and storms.

Before its first ascent in 1953, 31 people died attempting to climb the peak which is why it was nicknamed "the Killer Mountain."

The mountain is also called "the western anchor of the Himalayas." It has a 22.3% death ratio, making it the third most dangerous mountain peak in the world.