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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 August 2005, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Climber rescued from major peak
Tomaz Humar, after being rescued from Nanga Parbat
Tomaz Humar was rescued suffering from exhaustion
Pakistani troops have rescued a renowned Slovenian mountaineer stuck under a narrow ice ledge on one of the world's highest peaks for six days.

Tomaz Humar was trapped by bad weather on Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan at a height of nearly 6,000m.

He was unable to untie his rope, which had to be severed as an army helicopter carried him away to safety.

It is believed to be one of the few successful rescues carried out at such a high altitude.

"He is absolutely all right," military spokesman Col Atique Rehman is quoted as saying by Reuters.

Mr Humar is reported to have been taken to a hospital in the northern town of Gilgit. The rescue effort had been delayed because of the bad weather.

The Slovenian went up on a solo climb, on a route never scaled before. He became trapped on 4 August.

Mr Humar had been in a snow cave with little food and trapped by avalanches.

Grim conditions

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

"We've been worried all along. He reported his sleeping bag and clothing getting wet and he says he's very cold at night," Nazir Sabir told the BBC's World Today programme earlier.

"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.

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

He said Mr Humar was carrying minimum rations because he wanted to climb as light as possible.

The 8,125m Nanga Parbat peak - the westernmost in the Himalayan range - was first scaled in 1953 but only after 31 people had died trying to climb it.

Risky route

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.

The route he chose this time along the Rupal face can be climbed by "only one in 1,000", mountaineers say.

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

RESCUE FROM NANGA PARBAT
Pakistani Air Force Lama SA- 315B helicopter was used in the rescue
The helicopter is purpose-built to operate at high altitudes and holds the world record for the highest-ever helicopter flight at 12,441m
The 'copter can fly at 200km/h. Its maximum payload is 1,000kg





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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