Italian Survivor Of K2 Disaster Reaches Base Camp

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Having made a painful descent on frostbitten feet, the last survivor of a fatal mountaineering disaster on the world’s second highest peak is recovering in base camp.

The Italian climber was stranded on K2 following an ice fall nearly four days ago. He’s told an Italian research group he’s “happy to be alive.”

Two Pakistani helicopters have been on standby since Monday, but clouds and snow continue to prevent a rescue attempt. They plan to try again Wednesday.

The mountaineer is said to be in good condition, despite his blackened, frostbitten toes. In the meantime he’s getting treated by a doctor at the camp.

The 28,250-foot mountain lies near Pakistan’s northern border with China. It’s regarded by climbers as more challenging to conquer than Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak.