ISLAMABAD (AP) — Two Pakistani military helicopters began an operation Saturday to rescue two European mountain climbers stuck on a Himalayan peak, officials said.
Karrar Haidri, a top official of the Pakistan Alpine Federation, said four volunteers from a Polish expedition were airlifted to the base camp of Pakistan's Nanga Parbat mountain and dropped close to the two stranded climbers, identified as Tomasz Mackiewicz of Poland and Elisabeth Revol of France.
He said the volunteers had spotted the two mountaineers, and were climbing to 7,000 meters (22,965 feet) above sea level to try to reach them until nightfall Saturday.
Mackiewicz reportedly is suffering from snow blindness and altitude sickness. Haidri said a clearer report of how the climbers were doing should emerge by Sunday morning.
Earlier in the day Haidri said the local weather was bad, with temperatures at minus 60 degrees Celsius at the height where the climbers are stuck.
A military statement said the two military helicopters began the rescue mission on the request of the Polish and French embassies.
The 8,126-meter- (26,660-foot) Nanga Parbat is the ninth-highest in the world.