Kangchenjunga: "Critical Situation: Zsolt and Peter in Need of Help and a Deadly Avalanche"

Several summits were reported from Kangchenjunga, yesterday. But the news arriving from the mountain are not pleasant.

Hungarians Zsolt Eross and Peter Kiss reached summit at 1800hrs local time, after climbing for 24hours. The home team reports that Zsolt called again at around 2000hrs local time, telling that he is very week and has descended only 60-100m yet. Peter was also with him. They spent the freezing night at 8300m. Their home-team and BC manager remained in constant communication with them, throughout the night.

At dawn, Zsolt called and said that he is feeling little better. Peter was still with him, "(Zsolt) is in a little bad shape, but slowly descending down."

Current situation is not very clear.  Probably they managed to descend to C-IV. At the moment, Zsolt seems alone, while whereabouts of Peter are not known. Base camp manager Lajos Kollar, who couldn't contact other climbers on the mountain, has arranged two sherpas and sent them up for assistance.

Zsolt Eross; source


Meanwhile, more tragedy is added by an avalanche sweeping away C2. From the Hungarian team's website, it appears that a Korean climber and Sherpa were killed in the incident. (Read correction in Update-1)

Oscar Cadiach's home team reports that he is in in C3 at the moment, while no updates are available from Iranian and Italian teams.

Carlos Soria has reached C1.




Update-1: 22-May-2013  1330Hrs Nepal Time
A report on Desnivel yesterday hinted about another accident on the mountain; fall of two to four climbers somewhere below C-IV and CII. The climbers were supposedly roped together.

A kind reader of this blog, István Varga, shared further details about the incident. The source of information is a Hungarian news agency MTI. Available information is summarized below.

1) It appears that no one was killed in C2 avalanche incident. The avalanche did sweep away C2 and many climbers had to bivouacked without established tents.
2) Two reported causalities happened above C2 due to fall (one hinted in Desnivel report). The died climbers belonged to South Korea and Bangladesh(?) (Read Desnivel report in Update-2). Two sherpas were also injured. (Note: Bangladeshi climber was supposedly part of Iranian team. While 6 Koreans were part of an international expedition. It's not know how many Koreans went for summit.)

Also, as per news reports, Korean Kim Hong-bin reached the summit at 1615hrs local time on 20th May. It was Kim's eighth eight-thousander. No further details are available about him, yet.

Update-2: 22-May-2013  1530Hrs Nepal Time
Desnivel and Hungarian website shared more details about the happenings.

The official statement from Hungarian team is, "The 2013 Kangchenjunga Expedition's two top climbers, Zsolt Eross and  Péter Kiss disappeared at around 8000m, during the descent from the peak."
There hasn't been any communication with Peter since yesterday morning while Zsolt is unreachable since yesterday afternoon. A search operation is being managed with the help of Korean climbers on the mountain. The Koreans/Sherpas will try to reach C-IV and look for Peter and Zsolt.

Desnivel report can be read here. As per this report, eleven people reached the summit while five died during descent; 2 Hungarians, 1 Korean, 2 Sherpas (no Bangladeshi climber).


Update-3: 23-May-2013  0041Hrs Nepal Time
As per update on Carlos Soria’s Facebook page, 11 climbers reached the summit of Kangchenjunga on 20th May and sadly five perished during descent. Recent update on Desnivel suggests that remaining climbers and sherpas have safely arrived at BC, now.

Although, Hungarian team's website doesn't make any announcement, the chances of survival of both climbers are non-existent. Carlos Soria’s update presumes both Hungarians dead. Other deceased climbers are Korean Park Nam Su and two sherpas (Phurba Sherpa and Vivas Sherpa).

While details in 3rd update clarify the current status of climbers, the exact circumstances of the day are not known yet.

Post will be updated as further news arrive.
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