Nepal | May 26, 2020

Austrian alpinist found dead on Mt Lobuche East

Rajan Pokhrel
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Mt Lobuche East

Mountaineers at the Mt Lobuche East. Photo: THT/File

KATHMANDU: An Austrian climber, Markus Schett (41), died while attempting to climb Mt Lobuche East (6,119 m) alone in the Mt Everest region recently, according to the expedition organiser.

Raju Dong Lama, Managing Director at Ramdung Expedition Pvt Ltd, said that Markus’s body was spotted above the Lobuche East High Camp on December 29 when the alpinist was last seen by his guide on December 19.

According to him, Markus along with his guide Pushkar Thakuri left the base camp early morning on December 19 and they reached the High Camp at around 12 noon. “Then, Markus had attempted to climb the peak alone leaving Thakuri at the camp,” he said, adding that Thakuri stayed at the camp waiting for him for several hours.”

As Markus didn’t return to the camp, Thakuri informed the local authorities and others concerned about the incident. Markus’s sister and other relatives had also visited Kathmandu to expedite a search operation in the last week of December. “Earlier, an air and ground search missions were conducted at the area but he was not found.”

According to him, Sherpa guides of another expedition had, however, spotted Markus’s body above the high camp on December 29 while the same was also communicated to the family members and authorities.

Officials at the Nepal Mountaineering Association that issues climbing permits for Lobuche Peak are still in dilemma whether or not to remove his body from the mountain, as his family and relatives communicated to the agency that they didn’t want Markus’s body removed from the area where he breathed his last.

“They have asked for his body to be left on the mountain, but there is a dilemma as leaving a dead body on the mountain is against the country’s law. The issue is, however, being discussed among the NMA officials and the Austrian Honorary Consulate in Kathmandu,” Lama informed.

Compared to 2016, it was a slightly improved year in terms of missing trekkers and fatalities, according to MissingTrekker.com, an informational website set up to help family, friends and others who are searching for missing trekkers in Nepal. “2016 had 5 reports of missing trekkers and 5 reported/unfound/fatalities compared to 2017 with 5 reported missing trekkers resulting in 4 unfound/fatalities and one rescue, plus one missing trekker who was found before being reported,” the website claimed.


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