An epic rescue has taken place on Latok I which has saved Alexander Gukov after six days with almost no food or water.
He was picked up by helicopter and is recovering at a hospital in Skardu, but is in good condition.
On July 25, his partner Sergey Glazunov fell during their attempt on the classic, but unclimbed, North Ridge at about 6,200 metres.
They left base camp on July 12 and left their high camp with five days of food at 5,500 metres on July 15.
A storm set in and forced the climbers to descend, which is when something went wrong during a rappel and Glazunov fell.
Miraculously, Gukov seems to have escaped frost bite, built a snow cave and was able to stay in touch with rescuers the entire time.
Mountain.ru had been covering the rescue and wrote for Planetmountain.com, “One heli threw the sling hovering close to the ridge. The other B3 was hovering right behind him giving adjustment instructions about sling end with D ring to the lead heli.
“Thus the two B3s worked in tandem. After trying for 15 minutes, Alex finally managed to get hold of the sling and connected the D ring to his harness. The heli flying back confirmed the safe engagement and instructed the lead heli to pull off with Alex attached. The fuel level was getting critically low by then.
“However, it was touch and go as Alex had forgotten to remove his anchor to the mountain. Thus he found himself connected to the sling of the B3 on one end and Latok to the other as the mountain refused to let him go. The pilots were extremely lucky as Alex’s Latok anchor finally gave away releasing him. The B3s pulled out and brought Alex to safety at the BC from where he was taken directly to CMH Skardu.”
Mountain.ru noted that the Pakistani helicopter pilots had “done the impossible.”