BODY COUNT: Climbers head down from the Mount Everest summit
NEPALI rescuers abandoned plans to retrieve the bodies of two Indian climbers missing on Mount Everest on Monday (30), hoping instead to bring them down next year, an expedition operator said.
The two men – identified as Paresh Nath and Goutam Ghosh – were near the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,029- foot) mountain on May 21 when they lost contact with the rest of their team.
Rescuers found Nath’s body last Fri- day (27) near the South Col, located at an altitude of 8,000 metres and marking the beginning of the “death zone”.
Ghosh’s body was also spotted the same day on the Balcony – a midway stop between the South Col and the summit, before strong winds forced back rescuers, Wangchu Sherpa of Trekking Camp Ne- pal said. With the window for climbing on the mountain now closing and bad weather setting in, rescuers said they could not recover the bodies.
The cause of their deaths has not been established. But the “death zone” is notorious for its difficult terrain and thin air, as low levels of oxygen raise the risk of altitude sickness.
The missing climb- ers were part of a team of four, one of whom – Subhash Pal – died after falling ill on Sunday (29) while the fourth member, a woman, was rescued and taken to hospital.