Two Indian climbers die, Chilean goes missing on Mt Kanchenjunga

KATHMANDU: Two Indian climbers died above Camp IV of Mt Kanchenjunga while descending from the summit of the world’s third highest mountain last night, according to the expedition organiser.

Biplab Baidya (48) and Kuntal Karar (46) breathed their last above Camp IV after they were unable to continue their descent from near the summit due to altitude ailments, hypothermia and snowblindness, Peak Promotion Pvt Ltd reported.

According to fellow climbers, the incident occurred when the duo were being brought to Camp IV from an altitude of 8,400 m through a herculean rescue operation carried out by Project Possible team leader Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja along with fellow members — Mingma David Sherpa and Gesman Tamang.

“Later, they succumbed to high altitude sicknesses,” Pasang Sherpa, Director of Peak Promotion Pvt Ltd confirmed. Biplab made it to the summit point while Kuntal fell sick on his way to the top of the mountain, he added. They were part of a five-member team of West Bengal climbers.

Meanwhile, a climber from Chile has gone missing from above Camp IV of Mt Kanchenjunga since last evening. Rodrigo Vivanco from Chile went missing above Camp IV on the descent after he reportedly made it to the summit late in the evening yesterday, Sherpa said, adding that a team has already left for Camp IV to conduct search and recover the bodies.

“Two Indian climbers and a German mountaineer who also suffered from serious frostbite will be evacuated from the high camp as early as possible,” he said.