In a spectacular, high-flying twist of fate, ace Italian helicopter pilot Simone Moro – who was involved in a well-publicised altercation with Sherpas earlier this season – has just pulled off the highest-ever helicopter rescue on Everest.
Everest has just seen another first: the highest-altitude helicopter rescue, from 7,800m.
An injured Nepali/Canadian climber was lifted on a long-line from 7,800m on Everest at 1.30pm Nepali time on 21 May, reports Jagged Globe.
"The climber got into difficulties in the afternoon of 20 May, high on Everest. A sherpa team, led by Pasang Tenzing - working for Jagged Globe - rescued the injured climber from above 8,500m in the evening, reaching the South Col Camp (7,950m) at 8pm. The next day they lowered him down several hundred meters of difficult ground to reach a sport from where the record-breaking helicopter pick up was possible."
The pilot of this daring mission has just been confirmed: Simone Moro. Simone, an Italian alpinist and helicopter pilot, hit the Everest headlines earlier this season, when he, along with Swiss ace Ueli Steck and British photographer Jon Griffith, were involved in possibly the word's highest altitude fight.
As reported by Ed Douglas in Summit 69
, rescue in the Himalaya is changing fast. "Not long ago, this kind of rescue in the Himalaya was pure fantasy," observed Ed. "Climbers went into the mountains knowing that only they could get themselves off."
As we investigated, a competitive helicopter rescue industry is leading to a rise in scams affecting trekkers to Nepal, including unnecessary evacuation, overcharging for the rescue and charging twice.
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