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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.

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In Pictures: His Highness Aga Khan’s First Visit to Hunza in 1960

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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Aga Khan in Hunza 1960
Photos: Abdul M. Ismaily

On this day in 1960, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan made his historic first visits to Hunza and laid down the foundation of what we know as a model valley today. Since then, Hunza has come a long way and developed into a model valley for many. Every year on 23rd October, Ismailis of Hunza Valley celebrate this day as “Salgirah” to commemorate Aga Khan’s visit to Hunza for the first time.

During the first visit of His Highness Aga Khan to Hunza, photographer Abdul M. Ismaily took numerous photos that remained unseen for decades. However, in 2016, Simerg Photos released a number of pictures of this historic visit with the permission of Abdul M. Ismaily’s family.

On this happy occasion for the Ismailis of Hunza, GBee is pleased to share some of the photographs from Aga Khan’s first visit to Hunza in 1960.

Attached by pulley to the third cable was a wooden box, five feet square, with sides rising 18 inches. This was the only way to Hunza. The five journalists which included two Americans were horrified, and despite urging from Pir Ali Allana, the Aga Khan’s advance man, none would get into the box. Far across the river, men pulled on a rope, and, swaying and shaking, the box shot out over the swift-flowing stream of Hunza River. Today, the Nasirabad Bridge stands in this place.
Ismaili Volunteers with community leaders during the preparations to receive H.H. The Aga Khan at Baltit Polo Ground in Karimabad, Hunza.
Col. Ayash Khan, the brother of Mir Jamal Khan, the last royal ruler of Hunza, is seen standing in a uniform with members of the royal family of Hunza outside the royal palace in Hunza where His Highness the Aga Khan resided during his visit in 1960.
Aga Khan first visit to Hunza Valley 1960
Aga Khan in Hunza 1960

H.H. Aga Khan in conversation with Mir of Hunza.
Aga Khan in Hunza 1960
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AKAH Celebrates Global Handwashing Day 2019

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A Hunza school girl at Al Murtaza School in Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan
AKAH in collaboration with other AKDN and government agencies is campaigning for “Clean Hands for All”. Photo: Imran Hunzai / AKDN

Aga Khan Agency of Habitat (AKAH) in close coordination with other Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) agencies, Government Departments, civil bodies and media groups celebrated Global Handwashing Day 2019. 

A number of activities and events were designed and organized at the school level across districts in Gilgit- Baltistan. These activities aimed at campaigning for better hygiene. 

school kids in Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee School Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan
Global Handwashing Day 2019: Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, through its School Health Improvement Programme (SHIP), is sensitizing school children and management across vulnerable communities for hygienic practices, including handwashing with soap.
A Hunza kid washing hands
AKAH is spreading smiles through providing access to safe drinking water and educating communities for handwashing with soap, under its Water And Sanitation Education Programme (WASEP), to prevent diseases and save lives.
AKESP Global Handwashing Day 2019
Students at AKES, P school in Chatorkhand are demonstrating handwashing in an event organized to campaign for hygienic practices on Global Handwashing Day.
school kids in Al Murtaza School Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan
The students of AKES, P school in Murtazabad Hunza are learning the steps of Handwashing with the help of health hygiene trainers.
Representatives of AKDN on Global Handwashing Day 2019
Representatives of AKDN agencies emphasized addressing “Handwashing disparities to prevent diseases and save lives”, in events organized to mark Global Handwashing Day, 2019.
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