GILGIT: A Pakistani rescue helicopter evacuated an Italian climber on Wednesday — four days after he survived a deadly ice avalanche on K2, the world’s second highest mountain.
The helicopter picked up Marco Confortola and a number of his colleagues from a base camp on the mountain. Confortola was immediately taken to a hospital in the Pakistani town of Skardu.
“He was in good shape, but he could not walk,” said Colonel Mueen Uddin, a pilot for Askari Aviation, a company that sent the helicopter. “His feet were frostbitten.”
Uddin said that weather conditions on the mountain were not good initially, but were not a problem when they left the mountain.
The identities and conditions of the other two people were not immediately known, he said.
Confortola survived an ice avalanche on K2 on Saturday that killed 11 people. He arrived at the mountain’s base camp on Tuesday, where doctors treated him for frostbite on his feet, according to updates of the rescue operation provided by his expedition team’s website.
Two other survivors, both Dutchmen, were flown to a hospital in Skardu, Pakistan, on Monday, a day after making their way down the mountain to K2’s base camp. They are also suffering from frostbite.