More DW Blogs DW.COM

Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Climber dies in avalanche in Pakistan

Rescue on 7000er

An Austrian climber was killed in an avalanche accident on the 7,338-meter-high Ultar Sar in the Karakoram. Christian Huber died on Friday when the snow masses hit the tent he and his team-mates Bruce Normand and Timothy Miller had pitched on a ridge at an altitude of 5,800 meters. The two uninjured British and the body of Huber were taken from the mountain this Sunday by a rescue helicopter of the Pakistani army. An army spokesman said it was a “daring mission”. The first emergency call had been received on Saturday morning. Bad weather had prevented the helicopter from taking off earlier.

Mountain with high avalanche risk

Ultar Sar (r.)

The three climbers had been in Pakistan since the end of May, their permit expired in the first week of July. Ultar Sar, which is located in the Hunza region in the north of the country, is considered as a difficult mountain with a high risk of avalanches. The heavy snowfalls of the past days in the Karakoram are likely to have increased the danger even more. The two Japanese Akito Yamazaki and Kyoshi Matsuoka had succeeded the first ascent of Ultar Sar in Alpine style in summer 1996. During the descent, the completely exhausted Yamazaki had died of high altitude sickness in camp 1.

Huber lived in the USA for a long time


Information about the Austrian, who now died on Ultar Sar, is still rare. A spokesman of the Foreign Ministry in Vienna told the Klagenfurt-based “Kleine Zeitung” that Huber was about 50 years old and had lived in the USA for a long time.

The Scot Bruce Normand has long been a constant in the climbing scene. In 2010, the physicist, who lives and works in Switzerland, was awarded the Piolet d’Or, the “Oscar of the Climbers”. Along withh the two Americans Kyle Dempster (he died at Ogre II in Pakistan in 2016) and Jed Brown,  Bruce was honored for the first ascent of the North Face of the 6,422-meter-high Xuelin West in China.


1. July 2018 | 20:38