PUTRAJAYA, April 25 ― A Malaysian climber stranded in the open for two nights on one of the world's most treacherous mountains was rescued in Nepal today, expedition organisers said.
Climbing experts said it was a “miracle” that 48-year-old Chin Wui Kin survived the freezing conditions on Mount Annapurna for so long.
Chin reached the top of the 8,100-metre (26,500-foot) Himalayan mountain on Tuesday but failed to return to the nearest camp, one kilometre below the peak, with the rest of his group.
Frantic efforts began to find him after his guide stumbled to the camp and raised the alert.
“Our team has found him alive. He is conscious,” Thaneshwor Guragain of Seven Summit Treks told AFP.
A rescue helicopter spotted Kin waving from the snowy slopes at an elevation of around 7,500 metres (24,500 feet) early today, organisers said.
Four experienced sherpas were then dropped at another camp at 6,500 metres (21,300 feet) to try to reach him.
“They have given him some water and are trying to bring him down,” Guragain said.
No details of his condition were given. But Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summits Treks called the rescue “a miracle”.
“We were very worried yesterday. Not everyone can survive at that altitude for that long. This is rare,” he said.
Hundreds of people from around the world travel to the Himalayas each year for the spring climbing season, when conditions are best.
Chin had returned to Nepal after summiting Everest last year.
Annapurna is avalanche-prone, technically difficult and has a higher death rate than Everest, the world's highest peak.
Nine South Korean climbers were killed last October after a snowstorm swept them off a cliff on Mount Gurja, west of Annapurna. ― AFP