By Gopal Sharma
KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Rescuers hauled an Indian mountaineer up 200 metres (656 feet) from the depths of a crevasse three days after he plunged into it on Mount Annapurna in west Nepal, hiking officials said on Thursday, in a rare example of a successful high-altitude rescue operation.
The climber, 34-year-old Anurag Maloo, was being flown to a hospital in Kathmandu in critical condition, according to Thaneshwar Guragain, an official at the Seven Summit Treks hiking company.
Five sherpa and two foreign climbers used ropes to rescue his after he fell on Monday as he was returning to base camp after failing to reach the summit of Annapurna, the world’s 10th-highest peak at 8,091 metres (26,545 feet), Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks said.
"This sort of rescue is rare because the location is very dangerous," Sherpa said. "For one person seven other climbers put their lives at risk. It was his sheer luck that they found him alive," he said.
Maloo had fallen near Camp II at an altitude of about 5,680 metres, Tourism Department official Bigyan Koirala said.
A 10-time Everest summiteer from Northern Ireland died on the descent from Annapurna on Monday.
The peak in west Nepal, which was first climbed by Maurice Herzog of France in 1950, is considered dangerous due to the risk of frequent avalanches.
At least 365 people are recorded as having climbed Annapurna while more than 72 have died on it over the years.
(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Hugh Lawson)