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Derek Franz and Madeeha Syed

The Askari Aviation helicopter landing on Nanga Parbat. [Photo] Courtesy of Denis Urubko

A retrospective on the second winter ascent of Nanga Parbat, the heroic rescue and the logistical and financial challenges of helicopter operations in Pakistan

Elisabeth Revol and Tomek Mackiewicz completed the second winter ascent of Nanga Parbat in alpine style on January 25, but they got into trouble on the descent as a storm was building. What unfolded over the next several days became a demonstration of heroism and solidarity in the international mountain community, as people from different nations worked together to try to help the stranded climbers. It also raised questions about modern rescues in remote mountains–about the limits of possibilities; about best practices in a digital and increasingly technological age; and about disparities between which groups of people receive the most help.