Nepal | February 24, 2020

Sherpa climbers injured on Mt Lhotse, Manaslu; Hong Sung Taek sets up Camp IV

Rajan Pokhrel

Tents pitched at Camp III for the National Geographic explorer going on Lhotse South Face Expedition. Photo courtesy: Trekking Camp Nepal

KATHMANDU: At least three Sherpa climbers were taken ill on Mt Lhotse and Mt Manaslu as renowned South Korean climber Sung Taek Hong (51) fixed Camp IV for the toughest Mt Lhotse South Face expedition, expedition organisers have said.

According to Temba Tsheri Sherpa, Managing Director at Sherpa Khangri Outdoor, a rescue team has been sent to Mt Manaslu to evacuate Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa who was injured near Camp IV while descending from the summit of the world’s eighth highest peak.

“Lakpa Tsheri complained of illness when he along with Nima Gyalzen Sherpa and a Chinese climber was returning from the summit,” he said adding that they scaled the peak on Thursday.

Mingma Sherpa, Chairman at Seven Summit Treks, said that he along with a rescue team flew on an Altitude Air chopper to Manaslu region on Friday morning to evacuate the climbers.

Two sherpa climbers were injured in rockfall on Mt Lhotse when they were returning to lower camps after setting up Camp IV for the National Geographic explorer. Furba Wangyal Sherpa and Phurba Sherpa were injured when rocks came crashing down on them near Camp II, expedition organiser said.

“Efforts are underway to airlift them from the base camp,” Wangchu Sherpa, Managing Director at Trekking Camp Nepal said. According to him, the team would make final summit push on Mt Lhotse next week.

Hong along with record-holder Spanish climber Jorge Egocheaga Rodriguez would attempt to scale Mt Lhotse (8,516 m) from the South Face. “Captain Sung Taek Hong  reached the Camp IV at 8,250m altitude on October 18,” Media Relations Manager for the expedition Kyu-po Pyun said.

According to him, there were massive rockfalls and avalanches in the higher camps in recent days. Earlier, storms also destroyed a tent in Camp I and fixed ropes were covered by heavy snow and ice, which delayed the climbing bid, he further added.

Hong has already attempted the most difficult face of the mountain four times in the previous years. The South Korean mountaineer climbed Mt Everest in 1995 from Tibetan side while he skied to the South Pole in 1994 and walked to the North Pole in 2005. Hong also crossed the Bering Strait and Greenland for the first time.

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