Austrian mountaineer dies in avalanche on Pakistan mountain

ISLAMABAD — One member of a three-man mountaineering expedition has died in an avalanche on a more than 7,000-meter (7,658-yard) high peak in northern Pakistan, officials said Saturday.

Karrar Haidri, secretary of Alpine Club of Pakistan, said Austrian mountaineer Christian Huber was killed when an avalanche hit the climbers' tent Friday night during a strong storm at a height of 5,900 meters (6,455 yards) on Ultar Sar Peak in the Hunza Valley.

Officials said the other two mountaineers in the group, Britons Bruce Normand and Timothy Miller, suffered injuries but were safe and helicopters were being sent to rescue them.

The three-member expedition started in late May and was permitted to go till the first week of July. The team was being managed by Higher Ground Expeditions, a tour operating company in Hunza Valley.

Higher Ground employee Abdul Karim Zouqi said a rescue helicopter will pick up the two survivors once the crew gets a weather clearance to do so. He said the body of the deceased mountaineer and his gear were found and would be brought back.

However, Zouqi said expedition leader Normand emailed him saying the weather was getting worse.

In January, volunteers rescued a French mountaineer stranded on a Himalayan peak but called off efforts to retrieve a Polish climber who was declared dead after a dramatic rescue effort.

Elisabeth Revol and Tomasz Mackiewicz were climbing Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest peak in the world at 8,126 meters (26,660 feet), but called for help.

Four volunteers from a separate Polish expedition set out to find them and managed to reach Revol, a renowned mountaineer who was suffering from frostbite on her feet and could not walk. Poor weather prevented the team from reaching Mackiewicz, who had snow blindness and altitude sickness.

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