Two Indian climbers died on Wednesday night near the summit of Mount Kanchenjunga during an expedition on the world’s third-highest mountain range in Nepal, their hiking company said on Thursday. The climbers were both from West Bengal, PTI reported.
The climbers have been identified as 48-year-old Biplab Baidya and 46-year-old Kuntal Kanrar. The two trekkers died due to hypothermia and snowblindness right above Camp IV after they were unable to continue their descent.
A rescue operation was carried out to bring the two down from an altitude of 8,400 metres. The rescue mission was carried out by Project Possible team leader Nirmal Purja along with others.
“Biplab made it successfully to the summit point while Kuntal fell sick on his way and could not make it to the top,” a liaison officer at Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism, told PTI.
Pasang Sherpa of the Peak Promotion hiking company said that while Baidya had successfully climbed 8,586 metres (28,169 feet) of the Kanchenjunga main summit, Kanrar died overnight after reaching an altitude of about 8,000 metres (26,246 feet), Reuters reported.
The expedition organiser said the climbers died while attempts to rescue them were on, AP reported. The climbers were taken sick before the 8,586-metre mark when the organisers were trying to bring them to a lower camp so that they could be rescued by a helicopter.
Karar and Baidya were part of a five-member team of climbers from West Bengal.
Another climber from Chile, Rodrigo Vivanco, has been reported missing since Wednesday evening from above Camp IV of the mountain range. A search party has left to look for Vivanco, who went missing after he began his descent from the summit.
Trekkers frequent spring climbing season on different Himalayan peaks during the spring climbing season.