Indian climber who went missing on Everest found dead after 36 hours search
Ravi Kumar was found in a crevasse after a 36-hour intense search. This was the fifth death on the world’s highest mountain this season. A total of 45 people have lost their lives on Everest in the past four years.world Updated: May 23, 2017 07:05 IST
The body of Ravi Kumar, an Indian climber who went missing on Mount Everest two days ago, was found after an intense search lasting 36 hours, expedition organisers said on Monday.
This was the fifth death on the world’s highest mountain this season. A total of 45 people have lost their lives on Everest in the past four years.
A team of high-altitude guides spotted Kumar’s body on Monday morning in a 200-metre crevasse near the summit.
Climbers from the US and Slovakia also died on the Nepalese side of the mountain on Sunday.
According to Chowang Sherpa, managing director of Arun Treks and Expedition, the handling agency for Kumar’s expedition, it will be a very costly and risky affair to retrieve the 27-year-old’s body from a height of 8,400 metres.
“We have to dispatch at least 10 Sherpas to pull out the body. His family members have been urging us to retrieve the body at any cost due to insurance claim. Without the body, the insurance company will not pay the money,” Sherpa told Hindustan Times.
“It is not possible to retrieve the body immediately,” he added.
Kumar had an insurance policy of Indian Rs 25 lakh. However, it will cost almost Rs 40 lakh to retrieve the body.
Helicopters cannot land at such heights as they can fly only up to 7,200 metres. Sending a team of Sherpas is one option but it is considered too risky.
According to Sherpa, Kumar and his guide reached the summit at 1.28 pm on Saturday. Kumar forced the guide to push towards the summit even though it was not the appropriate time for climbing, he said.
Lack of oxygen and extreme temperatures in the afternoon create a greater risk of death on the mountain. Sherpa said Kumar collapsed at 8 pm on Saturday due to low level of energy and oxygen while descending from the summit.
The guide left Kumar with supplementary oxygen as he could not walk. The guide descended to Camp IV to send a rescue team as he had suffered multiple injuries, including frostbite and snow blindness.
When three high-altitude guides reached the place where Kumar was believed to be, they couldn’t find the Indian, said Sherpa. “Climbers who were descending did not see him as well,” he added.
Given the risks involved at such high altitudes, many climbing teams decide not to bring down bodies.
Nearly 300 people have died on Everest since the first ascent to the peak was made in 1953. It is estimated that more than 200 bodies are lying on the mountain.
First Published: May 22, 2017 22:21 IST