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Hunza

Pakistan Army rescues stranded British mountaineers from Ultar Sar

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Pakistan Army rescues Bruce Normand and Miller Timothy from Ultar Sar
ISPR

A team of highly skilled pilots of Pakistan Army has successfully rescued two British mountaineers from the Camp II of Ultar Sar in Hunza, Pakistan. Bruce Normand and Miller Timothy were on an expedition to summit the 7,338 meters high Ultar Sar along with Austrian Alpinist Christian Huber, the third member of the expedition.

They were hit by an avalanche in their sleep at Camp II of Ultar Sar at an altitude of 19,300 feet (5,883 meters). Christian Huber did not survive the avalanche. His body was recovered in the high-altitude operation by Pakistan Army and flown to Islamabad.

Bruce Normand and Miller Timothy

Bruce Normand and Miller Timothy

Bruce Normand and Miller Timothy received injuries in the avalanche but remained out of danger. However, due to bad weather, they were stuck with plentiful of supplies while a team of Pakistan Army pilots tried to rescue them safely.

According to Karrar Haidri, the secretary of Alpine Club of Pakistan, Austrian mountaineer Christian Huber was killed when an avalanche hit the climbers’ tent on Friday night during a strong storm at a height of 5,900 meters on Ultar Sar. He added that the expedition started in late May and they were permitted to climb until the first week of July.

Pakistan Army rescue operation on Ultar Sar in Hunza Valley

A Pakistan Army helicopter can be seen landed near Camp II on Ultar Sar during the operation.

Abdul Karim Zouqi, an employee of Higher Ground Expeditions, a Hunza valley based tour operating company that was managing the expedition, sent out the first rescue request on Saturday morning.

Due to bad weather, Pakistan Army helicopters could not reach the stranded mountaineers. A helicopter was finally able to get through at around 6:45 am on Sunday morning.

 

Austrian Alpinist Christian Huber

Photo of Austrian Alpinist Christian Huber

Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), had Tweeted photos of the rescue team along with the two mountaineers who survived the Ultar avalanche.

Christian Huber was the president of American Alpine Club.

Thomas Drew, Britain’s High Commissioner in Pakistan, sent a thank you message to Pakistan Army saying the mission had been “remarkable and dangerous”.

“Our gratitude to the Pakistan Army pilots who rescued two British climbers trapped by an avalanche on Ultar Sar Peak near Hunza. Our thoughts with their Austrian fellow climber who did not survive the avalanche.”

Ultar Sar is one of the most dangerous peaks to climb in Pakistan with high chances of avalanches. A similar avalanche had taken the life of Japanese climbers Tsuneo Hasegawa and Kiyotaka Hoshino. The both are laid to rest in Ultar Meadows. Nazir Sabir, Pakistan’s prominent mountaineer, had closely escaped the avalanche.

Astore

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat Raises Awareness on National School Safety Day in Pakistan

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Photo: AKAH

To protect school children from natural disasters and other insecurities, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) convened government education departments, academia, district disaster management authorities and the media in Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab.

Mr. Hafiz Noorullah, Education Development Officer, Chitral, said on a radio talk show:

“A lack of awareness and knowledge makes the disaster happen. So there is a need to have more and more information sharing through different media platforms and involvement of young people in interactive discussions to sensitize them on the topics of safety and security.”

Mr. Nawab Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer, AKAH Pakistan said:

“In the 2005 earthquake, Pakistan lost around 20,000 children due to vulnerable structures and lack of awareness and preparedness, which cannot be repeated. We need our schools to be resilient and better prepared
for similar situations. We are thankful to our public and private-sector partners for joining hands with us to achieve this objective.”

For the last 20 years, AKAH has been designing and implementing programmes on Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable areas. More than 1,000 schools in disaster-prone areas have benefitted from the development of hazard and risk maps, school safety plans, provision of school safety kits, and awareness raising and capacity building of individuals.

School-level awareness raising sessions have been part of the work of the Aga Khan Agency since the Islamabad Conference on School Safety held in 2008. AKAH’s School Safety Programme will contribute towards the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s one million safe schools and hospitals global campaign, and contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) and the practical implementation of the Pakistan School Safety Framework.

For further information, please contact:
[email protected]

NOTES:
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), which merges the capabilities of Focus Humanitarian Assistance, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, and the Aga Khan Development Network’s Disaster Risk Management Initiative focuses on preparing for both sudden and slow-onset disasters. AKAH works to ensure that people live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters; that residents who do live in high- risk areas are able to cope with disasters in terms of preparedness and response; and that these settings provide access to social and financial services that lead to greater opportunity and a
better quality of life. Initially, priority areas of AKAH will include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and India.

Read more about the agency at: http://www.akdn.org/our-agencies/aga-khan-agency-habitat

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Sirbaz Khan from Hunza Valley becomes first Pakistani to climb Mount Lhotse

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Sirbaz Khan from Hunza Valley becomes first Pakistan to climb Lhotse

History has been made early morning in Nepal as Sirbaz Khan, a mountaineer from the Hunza district of Gilgit-Baltistan, successfully climbs, Lhotse, world’s 4th highest peak.

The 30-year old climber from Hunza Valley accompanying a 12-member team.

Climber Mingma G made the announcement on his Facebook page. According to Mingma Sherpa, the team reached the summit of Mont Lhotse at 09:47 am on May 14, 2019.

Sirbaz Khan Hunzai
A portrait of Sirbaz Khan taken after acclimatization at Nanga Parbat Base Camp.

Hailing from Aliabad town in Hunza Valley, Sirbaz Khan has already made a respectable place in the mountaineering fraternity by climbing K2 (8,611m) and Nanga Parbat (8,126m)

The team that climbed Mount Lhotse as part of the Lhotse Expedition 2019 include:

  1. Dawa Gyalje Sherpa (Nepal)
  2. Kili Pemba Sherpa (Nepal)
  3. Pemba Chote Sherpa (Nepal)
  4. Ang jangbu Sherpa (Nepal)
  5. Dendi Sherpa (Nepal)  
  6. Tamting Sherpa (Nepal)
  7. Dawa Tenzing Sherpa (Nepal)
  8. Gao Li (China)
  9. Li Xiaolin (China)
  10. Christina Flampouri (Greece) 
  11. Antonios Sykaris (Greece) 
  12. Sirbaz Khan (Pakistan)

Sirbaz Khan has yet another mission to accomplish. He is aiming to become the first Pakistani to climb Mount Everest without oxygen. He has been training for #MissionEverest for over a month in Nepal.

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