Monday, Oct 20, 2014

Bengal mountaineer remains missing

Press Trust of India | Kolkata | Posted: May 23, 2014 4:16 pm

No trace of mountaineer Chhanda Gayen has been found three days after she went missing while trying to climb Mount Kanchenjunga in Nepal, with chances of her survival believed to be “negligible”.

Nepal consulate sources told PTI that inclement weather hampered search operation and they have no news of Gayen and the accompanying two sherpas after they were caught in an avalanche on Tuesday.

They were trying to climb the 8,505-metre-high Yalung Kang, the second highest peak in the Kanchenjunga massif, also known as Kanchenjunga West.

The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling has also sent their mountaineering instructor Tushar Kanti to coordinate the rescue operation from the base camp.

“We are hopeful, but her chances of survival are negligible as it is very tough to survive at 8000 metre height for 3-4 days. But miracles do happen,” HMI principal Gulshan Chadha said.

The state youth services ministry has sent a three-member team, including two mountaineers Ujjal Roy and Devdas Nandi, to coordinate the rescue operation from the base camp.

The mountaineer’s family members have complained to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that they are disappointed after learning that Gayen was “not on good terms with the search committee members”.

Her brother Jyotirmoy Gayen, told reporters, “We want the Centre to intervene immediately and conduct the search”.

Gayen had annexed the 8,585-metre-high Kanchenjunga Main, the third tallest peak in the world, on May 18 along with three other city climbers Tusi Das, Dipankar Ghosh and Rajib Bhattacharjee.

While others decided to return to the base camp after summiting, Gayen along with two sherpas Dawa Wangchu Mingma
Temba stayed back to conquer the Yalung Kang peak.

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