The True Story Of a Daring Escape From Treacherous Himalayan Peak

Alexander Gukov and Sergey Glazunov were coming down Latok I when disaster struck.

By July 25, Alexander Gukov and Sergey Glazunov had been on Latok I, a 23,440-foot peak in central Pakistan, for 14 days, and they were running out of rations. They were attempting the North Ridge, an 8,200-foot sharp fin of rock and ice that comes up from the glacier below, writes Outside Online. But increasingly bad weather was moving in, so the climbers were making a quick retreat down the mountain.

Latok I has only been summited once, from any direction, by a Japanese team in 1979. The year before, an American team made the first attempt on Latok I’s North Ridge. They were forced back just 500 feet shy of the summit. More than two dozen attempts followed, but none of the parties made it further than the Americans’ high point.

While the men were rappelling down, Glazunov slipped. He was carrying all the supplies needed to continue retreating down the ridge. Gukov was hanging without any gear, and an Iridium satellite messenger that had only two percent battery power remaining. Outside Online looks at the true story of his harrowing rescue.

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