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Nanga Parbat is the ninth highest mountain in the world

Photo: ingimage / IMAGO

A Polish mountaineer has died while climbing Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, which is more than 8000 meters high. 38-year-old Paweł Tomasz Kopeć died of acute altitude sickness on Monday while descending from the ninth highest mountain in the world, the Pakistani mountaineering association announced.

Kopeć was traveling with two other climbers who, according to the Pakistan Mountaineering Association, are still on the descent.

Nanga Parbat is 8125 meters high and is located in northern Pakistan. Among the 14 eight-thousanders in the world, it is considered one of the most dangerous and difficult to climb mountains on earth because it is crisscrossed by icefalls and ice walls eroded by deep crevices. For this reason, the British gave it the name "Killer Mountain", and the National Socialists mystified it as a "mountain of fate".

Since the first ascent by the Austrian Hermann Buhl in 1953, at least 85 people have died on Nanga Parbat. The statistical probability of dying during the ascent is 20 percent.

Among the dead is Günther Messner, who died there in 1970 – after he had reached the summit together with his older brother Reinhold. For decades, the exact circumstances of his death were the subject of a dispute between Messner and expedition leader Karl Maria Herrligkoffer.

Body can probably not be recovered

The body of Kopeć is located at an altitude of 7400 meters. It was not possible to recover the body from such a great height, Karrar Haidri of the Pakistani mountaineering association told the AFP news agency. "Helicopters can't get up there."

If the family and friends wanted to recover the body, they would have to organize an expedition.