One of the men involved in the recent ugly confrontation on Everest between three European mountaineers and Sherpas has carried out a daring helicopter rescue of a stricken climber.
Italian climber Simone Moro flew his aircraft to a record-breaking 7,800m to airlift the Nepali-Canadian casualty from Everest’s South Col yesterday.
It was the highest ever rescue by helicopter.
The rotary-wing aircraft struggle to gain uplift in the thin air at such altitudes, but Moro piloted his machine higher than any previous flight so the injured climber could be brought to safety.
The rescue was witnessed by David Hamilton, an expedition leader from Sheffield-based Jagged Globe.
He said: “An injured Nepali-Canadian climber was lifted on a long-line from 7,800m on Everest at 1.30pm Nepali time on 21 May.
“The climber got into difficulties in the afternoon of 20 May high on Everest.
“A Sherpa team led by Pasang Tenzing, who was working for Jagged Globe, rescued the injured climber from above 8,500m in the evening reaching the South Col Camp at 7,950m at 8pm.
“On 21 May they lowered him over several hundred metres of difficult ground to reach a spot from where the record-breaking helicopter pick-up was possible.
“The pilot was Simone Moro.”
Mr Moro was with British climber and photographer Jon Griffith and Swiss speed-climbing expert Ueli Steck last month when they were confronted by a group of angry Sherpas who took exception to their Alpine-style climbing in an area where the Sherpas were fixing ropes.
The European climbers said their lives were threatened and they had to make a dangerous escape from Everest Camp Two back down to Base Camp.
Griffith and Steck flew out of the area after their expedition was abandoned, but Moro remained in the Everest area.