A day after mountaineer Richard Joseph Khear’s body was recovered by the army, his friends were devastated to hear of his death
The 28-year-old Wadala resident fell into a gorge while attempting to scale Castle Peak in Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal Pradesh on August 29.
Sylvia Jacques, a friend and a faculty at Matunga’s Don Bosco High School, said: “Khear was a part of Don Bosco Hiker’s Club since the age of 10 and took part in many treks,” Jacques said.
His friends said Khear’s body will be brought to Mumbai on Wednesday. “His funeral is on Wednesday at St Joseph Church, Wadala,” Jacques added.
Khear worked as a security officer with Pest Control of India and taught editing and film production at the department of communication and journalism, Mumbai University.
His friends and students remember him as a passionate mountaineer.
“He was helpful and approachable at any hour. We went together for a trek at Gorakhgad. He was always a part of college treks and instructed us throughout,” said Sheryl Dsouza, Khear’s student at the university and a friend.
Franco Linhares, a mountain climber, knew Khear for many years. They were part of a group of climbers, Girivihar Mountaineering Club, that practised near Podar College, Matunga (East), every day.
“Everybody at the club is distraught by the news,” said Linhares. “He was a fearless climber.”
Girivihar Mountaineering Club has put out a message on its website. “We are sorry to inform you that our member, Mr Richard Khear, who suffered a fall in the Miyar Valley last week, is no more,” read the message.
“There is a difference between traditional climbing and sport climbing. Khear preferred traditional climbing where precautionary measures are fewer. It is extremely dangerous, especially the big walls of the Himalayas,” Linhares added.