Climbing mountain without safety gear risky: Experts

Taplejung: Following the death of five mountaineers, including three foreigners, at the summit of Mt Kanchanjunga, the world´s third highest peak in Taplejung, mountain experts have advised mountaineers not to set out on a mountaineering expedition without adopting proper safety measures.

On May 20, two Nepalis and three foreigners — two Hungarians and a South Korean national — died while returning to camp No. 4 from the summit of 8,586 meter-peak, informed Minga Sherpa, the proprietor of Seven Summit Trekking Agency, which had arranged the expedition.

“As it takes longer to climb the mountain from camp No 4, which has steep cliffs, chances of sliding down the mountain and falling into the gorge are high if the climbers do not have proper safety tools,” said Sherpa, who has already reached the summit of as many as 14 mountains above 8,000 meters.

Camp No 4 is the last camp of the mountain and is located at an altitude of 7,400 meters. “Many climbers have died in the area as they tried to climb the mountain without using climbing rope,” he said, adding, “Had the deceased mountaineers adopted safety measures, they would not have met such fate.”

As Mt Kanchanjunga is a relatively expensive mountain, trekkers tend to hire only a few climbing assistants, he said, adding, “As a result, they try to climb the mountain without the help of climbing rope. This increases the risk of deaths.”

The dead bodies of the deceased mountaineers have not been recovered yet due to unfavorable weather. “But we have sent a helicopter carrying local Sherpas to the incident site on Saturday morning to recover the dead bodies,” said Sherpa.

The dead have been identified as Diwas Gurung and Phudorjee Sherpa of Sankhuwasabha, Peter Kiss and Zsolt Eross of Hungary, and Park Nam Su of South Korea. It has been learnt that Zsolt was the first Hungarian to climb the Mount Everest.

Source: Republica-24 May, 2013

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