Kathmandu, May 30 (IANS) A team of expert climbers successfully retrieved the body of an Indian climber who died of high altitude sickness in the Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak, and brought it back to Kathmandu on Monday.
According to The Kathmandu Post, the body of Ravi Kumar, 27, was lying at a 200-metre-deep crevasse near the summit of the world’s tallest mountain since May 22 and went missing from the so-called balcony located at 8,400 metres on Everest last Saturday, has been retrieved and handed over to his relatives.
“The body was handed over to the Indian embassy on Sunday,” said Mingma Sherpa, Managing Director of Seven Summit Treks, the company overseeing the operation.
The team also recovered bodies of two other Indian climbers Goutam Ghosh and Paresh Nath who had died on the mountain in 2016.
“It took three days to complete the mission,” he said.
“Our boys (high-altitude climbing experts) flew to Camp II (6,400m) by helicopter and then climbed to the balcony,” he said, adding, it took more than three hours to pull out Ravi’s body from the crevasse at the “death zone” where there is short-supply of oxygen. The bodies have been flown to Kathmandu, according to the Post.
Ten people were deployed for the mission, he said.
The cost of the operation that also included recovery of the dead of two other Indians is expected to touch $200,000.
The operation was launched following immense pressure from the Indian government.
“The Indian government has agreed to bear the cost,” said Sherpa.
“This mission was different. In fact, it was the biggest mission in my life executed on Everest so far,” he said. Each rescuer will be paid a fee of $3,000, he said. All the members of the rescue team have returned back safely after conducting the operation.”
Kumar had reached the summit with his guide last Saturday. The Indian climber collapsed due to low energy and oxygen levels.
Kumar had forced his guide to push for the summit even though it was not a good time, according to the expedition organiser. The guide left Kumar on the balcony with auxiliary oxygen as he could not walk any further.
The guide descended to Camp IV to send back a rescue team as he was suffering from frostbite and snow blindness. Three high-altitude guides reached the spot, but they could not find the Indian climber.