" I send my warmest congratulations to you and to the other members of the Italian team, who have achieved such a splendid mountaineering feat on Mt McKinley." -President Kennedy to Riccardo Cassin in 1961.
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TOPIC: German mountaineer rescued from slopes of Nun Peak

German mountaineer rescued from slopes of Nun Peak 7 years, 9 months ago #78

According to a news report in Deccan Herald, a German national - Dr. Steger Helmut Otto - part of a mountaineering expedition, which was hit by an avalanche, was rescued from the slopes of Nun Peak in the Ladakh region by the Leh-based Siachen Pioneers unit which is a helicopter unit of the IAF. This unit has been involved in several rescue missions in the last one month and has evacuated several foreigners from higher reaches in the region.

Nun Peak at 7135m is one of the highest in the Ladakh region. The request for evacuating the German national attempting to climb the Nun peak was received on August 18 after his team feared to have lost two of its guides in an avalanche and one member of the team was gravely injured. A two-helicopter rescue team led by the Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr UKS Bhadauria got airborne at 0545 AM on 19 August and reached the expedition site area.

Dr. Otto had survived a fall of approximately 300 feet at the summit and was stuck on his fixed rope with few broken ribs and head injury, After picking up the casualty, the formation set course and landed back at Leh at 0845 AM.

Re: German mountaineer rescued from slopes of Nun Peak 7 years, 9 months ago #79

Great job done by IAF!
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Re: German mountaineer rescued from slopes of Nun Peak 7 years, 9 months ago #80

But, does anyone know what is the procedure to call for such a rescue?
What communication equipment is required?
What about the charges for rescue?
Do we have a insurance company covering helicopter rescue expenses?
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Re: German mountaineer rescued from slopes of Nun Peak 7 years, 9 months ago #81

There's not much relevant info available about mountain rescue for India/Himalayas. However I did find some info from other parts of the world. Maybe I'll compile all these into an article so that it's more helpful.

The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) with 80 teams from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom work through or for a local government search and rescue authority. According to the FAQ on their website, the MRA teams have been performing the bulk of all search and rescue operations for the past 45 years and those were done without charge to the victim. They say that the expert volunteer teams of MRA are proud to be able to Provide search and rescue at NO cost and have NO plans to charge in the future. The Mountain Rescue Association is "a volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives through rescue and mountain safety education."

According to a Wikipedia article, in the five national parks of the Canadian Rockies, mountain rescue is solely the responsibility of Parks Canada's, Mountain Safety Program Specialists. Voluntary self-registration is available at information centers and warden offices whereby if a climbing party does not contact Parks Canada by a predetermined day and time, Parks Canada will initiate a search. However, parties should be self-reliant and not expect a search to begin until the next day (Parks Canada will usually initiate a search the same day if weather and daylight permits). Search and rescue costs are currently paid for by park entrance fees.

Mountain Rescue Ireland's FAQ says that in these islands, Mountain Rescue is a free volunteer service. The teams in Ireland are partially funded by government funds but have to raise the balance by public fundraising, flag days, corporate donations etc. They suggest that if you have been helped by Mountain Rescue, you might therefore consider giving that team some funds. Mountain Rescue teams are called out by ringing the emergency number, 999/112 in Ireland and asking for Mountain Rescue.

Re: German mountaineer rescued from slopes of Nun Peak 7 years, 9 months ago #83

Hi,

We dont have a structured body / club / institution who take responsibility of such extreme situations when it comes to Mountain rescue in India.

Climbing in Nepal being more commercialized and dominated by Americans and Europeans has a reasonable and structured rescue system in place .

There surely is a pressing need for something like that in India also.

Re: German mountaineer rescued from slopes of Nun Peak 7 years, 9 months ago #84

In Nepal, The Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) is a non profit organization which operates medical clinics at Pheriche, Manang and Everest Base Camp (EBC). They are staffed by physicians with previous high altitude experience.

They treat all climbers and staff at EBC for a fee (similar to the operations at Manang and Pheriche) and treat trekkers visiting base camp as well. Their staff is based at EBC but they do not climb with any team, even in the event of emergency. However they provide any radio or other non-climbing assistance they can from their base in case of emergency.

According to HRA's website, many helicopter companies and private airlines can provide evacuation by Helicopter for severely injured or ill people. However, someone in Kathmandu must guarantee the payment of the flight before the rescue. Average rescue flight costs about $6000 (this is an older rate, please confirm the latest rates by calling HRA).

If you are trekking with a Kathmandu based trekking agency, you send a rescue request to them and they will arrange the flight. If you are trekking on you own, you can send the message to your embassy or consulates along with your Name, Nationality, Passport detail, location and details of the injury or sickness (i.e. altitude illness, frostbite, heart problem, fracture, dysentery, etc.). The message can be passed through the HRA radio system, police radio system, and the National Park radio system or at local airports or army camps. It could take at least 24 hours to arrange a rescue, including passing the message.
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