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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Climber trapped on 'Killer' peak
Tomaz Humar
Tomaz Humar took few provisions in order to climb light
Pakistani rescuers are still unable to reach a renowned Slovenian mountaineer snowed in precariously on Nanga Parbat - one of the highest Himalayan peaks.

Tomaz Humar has been stranded for four days on an icy ledge about 6,000m (19,700 feet) above sea level.

Two helicopters are waiting to reach him, but the weather is still too bad.

Pakistani mountaineer Nazir Sabir, co-ordinating the rescue effort, said Mr Humar was in a snow cave with little food and trapped by avalanches.

Mr Humar went up on a solo climb, on a route never scaled before. He became trapped on 5 August.

Grim conditions

Nanga Parbat is the most dangerous mountain in the world, officials say.

Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat - one of the world's most dangerous mountains
"We've been worried all along. He reported his sleeping bag and clothing getting wet and he says he's very cold at night," Mr Sabir told the BBC's World Today programme.

"It's impossible for him to come down because of avalanches. The area where he is stuck is very delicate and very steep. It's probably one of the most complicated rescue operations in Himalayan history," he said.

Mr Humar was carrying minimum rations because he wanted to climb as light as possible and his food is likely to run out in the next few hours, Mr Sabir added.

The 8,125-metre Nanga Parbat peak - the westernmost in the Himalayan range - was first scaled in 1953 but only after 31 people had died in the attempt.

Nazir Sabir runs a Himalayan expedition outfit and is a close friend of Mr Humar.

He is co-ordinating the rescue effort, being jointly made by climbers from his own company and the Pakistan army.

Risky route

The weather seems to be the greatest worry for rescuers as Nanga Parbat catches most of the monsoons because of its south-westerly location.

Mr Humar is no stranger to the hostile conditions on Nanga Parbat.

Two years ago, he made four attempts to scale the mountain from the Rupal face - considered the most dangerous of the three routes to the top.

He had to abandon the attempts through ill health.

His current chosen route along the Rupal face can be climbed by "only one in a thousand", mountaineers say.

According to his website, Mr Humar, 36, has completed 1,500 ascents.





SEE ALSO:
Remembering climbing's unsung hero
02 Jul 03 |  South Asia
From mujahideen to mountain guide
07 Aug 05 |  South Asia


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