Two killed, as many missing after avalanche hits Tibet's Mount Shishapangma

A US mountaineer and her Nepali guide were killed after an avalanche on Mount Shishapangma in Tibet, hit them while over 50 people made a push to the summit southwest China, according to tour companies on Sunday, with two still missing and several injured.

The accident occurred Saturday afternoon "at an altitude of between 7,600 and 8,000 meters", Chinese news agency Xinhua said, citing the Tibet Sports Bureau, which confirmed the toll.

Mingma David Sherpa of Elite Exped, the guide and Anna Gutu, an American mountaineer, both racing to become the first US women to complete the 14×8,000'ers, had been killed, AFP reported.

"We have received reports that Anna and her guide were hit by the avalanche yesterday, their bodies have been recovered," he said.

"There are other climbers missing as well and rescue efforts are underway," he said, adding those efforts were complicated by the fact "helicopters cannot be used" on the mountain due to Chinese restrictions.

Mount Shishapangma, one of the highest mountains in the world, peaks at 8,027 metres (26,335 feet) above sea level and is entirely located within Chinese territory.

According to Explorers Web, Tashi Sherpa, a guide from Seven Summit Treks identified the missing people as US climber Gina Marie Rzucidlo and her guide Tenjin "Lama" Sherpa. Additionally, Chinese media reported that several others were injured.

Previously, Tenjen Lama Sherpa had accompanied Kristin Harila on her three-month speed climb of all the 8,000'ers. After finishing with Harila on K2 in July, he returned to guiding for Seven Summit Treks.

He had already summited Mount Manaslu and Dhaulagiri this fall.

A total of 52 climbers were pushing for the summit when the avalanches hit, including from the United States, Britain, Romania, Albania, Italy, Japan and Pakistan, Xinhua said.

All climbing activity on Shishapangma was suspended because of the unstable snow conditions.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

About Author