July 24, 2008

Two Climbers Rescued From Himalayas

An Italian climber said he and his partner are OK after being rescued from a mountain in Pakistan where they were stranded for days.

Walter Nones and Simon Kehrer attempted descending the mountain after their leader died last week but their efforts were hampered by severe weather, the Italian news service ANSA reported Thursday.

"We're OK, we're OK. There was a small avalanche (Wednesday) but we were able to ski on this morning,'' Nones told Agostino Da Polenza, head of Italy's Himalayan operations.

Nones and Kehrer decided to forgo plans to take a new route up the mountain after their leader, Karl Unterkircher, fell and died last Wednesday, ANSA said.

The hikers said they delayed their descent and camped out this week because of thick fog and snowfall.

ANSA said helicopters were able to reach the climbers Thursday as weather permitted.