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Tomaz Humar rescue attempt in Nepal

12.11.2009 by Menno Boermans

A rescue team belonging to the Swiss Mountain Rescue Station Air Zermatt is on its way to Nepal to try to help Slovenian mountaineer Tomaz Humar. Humar is injured and stranded at about 6300 meters on Langtang Lirung’s north face since earlier this week and Air Zermatt is appealing for help to deal with the Nepalese military bureaucracy.

On Monday November 9th, Tomaz Humar phoned his climbing partner in Slovenia. He said that he was injured, but without further details. This was his first and last call from the mountain. He is thought to be at an altitude of around 6300 meter, on the south face of Langtang Lirung, a 7227 meter peak in the Langtang mountain chain of the Nepalese Himalayas. His colleage in Slovenia called Air Zermatt, and asked for an intervention of the highly skilled helicopter mountain rescuers.

The Swiss team exists of Robert Andenmatten (rescue pilot Air Zermatt), Bruno Jelk (chief of the Zermatt mountain rescue station) and Simon Anthamatten (world famous alpinist and mountain rescue specialist). Air Zermatts chief pilot Gerold Biner is coordinating the rescue in Zermatt: "Our team left Switzerland this morning and is hoping to arrive in Kathmandu tomorrow."

"Our biggest challenge will be to arrange the permit for our pilot to fly a Nepalese helicopter. Sadly it seems difficult to convince the local authorities that our pilots are very experienced ‘longline-pilots’ (we fly up to 8000 sling load operations a year -cargo and human up to a length of 600 ft. lines). We have the skills and the currency to perform such extreme rescue missions in high altitude. So please if anyone can help us to convince the Nepalese authorities, contact us. Please let us try to save Tomaz."

Menno Boermans, Air Zermatt

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