Avalanche on K2 Peak
Two Dutch adventurers who survived a deadly ice avalanche that killed 11 other climbers on K2, the world's second highest mountain, were airlifted to a Pakistani hospital Monday, the team's spokesman told CNN.
Twenty-two climbers, mostly foreigners, reached K-2's summit Friday before a deadly avalanche struck.
An Italian climber, Marco Confortola, also survived the ordeal and will be airlifted once he reached a lower altitude, the country's Ministry of Tourism secretary said.
"So the search is on and I am very hopeful that he (Confortola) will be able to descend ... where he could be rescued," Shahzad Qaiser said.
The two Dutch survivors, Norit expedition leader Wilco Van Rooijen and Cas Van de Gevel, had been "stuck up high on the mountain" since the avalanche on Friday, team spokesman Michel Schuurman said.
The two men, who arrived at base camp on Saturday, were flown to a military hospital in Skardu, Pakistan on Monday, Qaiser added.
Among the 11 casualties was a local sherpa who had gone up to assist in rescue efforts, mountaineers working with the climbers involved said.
According to a Web log offering frequent updates on the rescue effort, Van Rooijen -- an accomplished climber who has scaled Mt. Everest without supplementary oxygen -- may be suffering from frostbite "and is not out of danger yet." Watch how the climbers were rescued
"Still, this survival is bound to go down as one of the greatest mountaineering tales in K2's history," K2climb.net said.
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