ESA climate explorer Carina Ahlqvist evacuated from Mt Makalu

KATHMANDU: Swedish mountaineer Carina Ahlqvist was evacuated from Mt Makalu after she suffered snow-blindness while attempting to climb the world’s fifth highest peak, the expedition organiser said.

Navin Trital, Managing Director at Expedition Himalaya, confirmed that the climber was evacuated from Camp II this morning. “She is undergoing treatment at Swacon International Hospital in Kathmandu,” he said, “Her condition is stable.”

Carina was a part of a climate study being carried out by the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative. Carina partnered with ESA to highlight how measurements of Essential Climate Variables, such as those tackled in the Climate Change Initiative programme, are vital for measuring climate change.

According to fellow climbers, Carina was snow blind and exhausted at Camp III three days ago. “Efforts to airlift her from the higher camps went in vain due to bad weather yesterday,” Trital said.

A Kailash helicopter piloted by Maurizio Folini conducted a long line rescue to evacuate the climate change explorer from Camp II, according to Pratap Jung Pandey, Managing Director at Kailash Helicopters Services Pvt Ltd. According to him, the Captain conducted a successful rescue mission after a three-day continuous attempt.

Carina, who also aims to become the first Swedish woman to summit Mt Makalu, was the leader of a six-member expedition locally managed by Expedition Himalaya.