Umesh Zirpe, senior mountaineer and leader of five 8000er expeditions of city-based mountaineering club Giripremi, suffered severe chest pain on Sunday during the Mount Everest expedition he was leading.
He was on the way to Camp 3 when he complained of chest pain and was helicoptered to the base camp, for treatment. A team of doctors of Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) treated him. Though his condition is stable, doctors have advised him against going further, on a higher altitude.
Zirpe (53) had embarked upon the expedition on April 2 with mountaineer Vishal Kaduskar. Facing harsh weather conditions for the last 50 days, the duo had reached upto 7,000 metres, through the deadly Khumbu icefall. They were ready for the final summit to Mount Chomolungma when Zirpe suffered chest pain and had to brought to the base camp.
“To climb Mount Everest had been his long-cherished dream. He is at the base camp clinic now and is very nervous because given his age, this was his last attempt to summit Mount Everest. But one has to honour the call of the mountain. Afterall, health and life is important,” said Dr Sumit Mandale, base camp manager.
In 2012, Zirpe led Giripremi’s first civilian expedition wherein under his leadership 11 climbers summitted Mount Everest. Though he did not summit it, he went upto Camp 2. In 2013, he led Giripremi’s Everest Lhotse expedition and reached uptil last camp — South Col 7,900 meters death zone.
“However, due to shortage of bottled oxygen, he sacrificed his summit attempt for other young members and returned from last 800 meters. His gesture was appreciated throughout the mountaineering fraternity. Supplementary oxygen is extremely crucial in South Col, last camp of Everest. Many deaths have taken place in the past due to shortage of bottled oxygen,” added Mandale.