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By Saad Sayeed and Marcin Goettig
ISLAMABAD/WARSAW (Reuters) - Efforts to rescue a Polish man and a French woman stuck on a treacherous peak in northern Pakistan known to mountaineers as "Killer Mountain" are set to begin on Saturday, officials said.
Tomasz Mackiewicz from Poland and Elisabeth Revol of France were attempting to ascend 8,126 metre (26,660 feet) Nanga Parbat in Pakistan's Himalaya mountain range.
Four members from a team of Polish climbers attempting the first winter summit of nearby K2, the world's second highest mountain, will assist in the rescue operation after a Pakistan Army helicopter picks them up from their base camp and flies them to Nanga Parbat.
"They will be brought from K2 to Nanga Parbat and then the operation will begin," Asghar Porik of Jasmine Tours told Reuters on Friday.
Mackiewicz and Revol got stuck at the 7,400 meter mark from where they used a satellite phone to call for help, spokesman for the Alpine Club of Pakistan Karrar Haidri told Reuters.
"We have no contact now with Tomasz," said Janusz Majer, who helped prepare the Polish expedition team currently scaling K2, adding that messages sent by Revol said Mackiewicz was suffering from snow blindness and frostbite.
"We do not know in what condition he is in. He hid himself in a crevasse to seek protection from wind. Tomasz in the past has spent a couple of nights above 7,000 metres, but with all the needed equipment ... Now he has no tent," Majer said.
Mackiewicz has made six previous attempts to scale Nanga Parbat in winter. The first successful winter ascent of the mountain was made as recently as February 2016.
A GoFundMe web page set up to raise the estimated 50,000 euros (£43,871) required to pay for the rescue operation costs reached its target in four hours.
Pakistan rivals Nepal for the number of peaks over 7,000 meters (23,000 feet).
Iqbal Hussain, the head of the tourism department for Pakistan's Gilgit region, where Nanga Parbat is located, told Reuters that the rescue operation would begin on Saturday.
The Polish foreign ministry said on Twitter that it would assist with the rescue operation, and "on the ground efforts are being coordinated by the Polish Embassy in Islamabad".
In June a Spanish man and an Argentinian perished in an avalanche while trying to scale Nanga Parbat.
(Reporting by Saad Sayeed, Editing by William Maclean)