Renowned Irish climber dies, Indian missing on Nepal’s Annapurna

Noel Hanna died while returning from the summit while Indian climber Anurag Maloo fell into a crevasse on the same mountain.

Nepal mountain
A man unloads belongings of an Indian climber who was rescued from Annapurna mountain region, in Kathmandu, Nepal [Niranjan Shrestha/AP]

A renowned Irish climber has died and an Indian is missing after falling into a crevasse in two separate incidents on Mount Annapurna, the world’s 10th highest mountain, an expedition organiser said.

Indian climber Anurag Maloo, 34, fell into a crevasse on the same mountain on Monday, Thaneswar Guragai of Kathmandu-based Seven Summit Treks said on Tuesday. A search is continuing for him.

Another Indian climber, Baljeet Kaur, fell ill on the way down from the 8,091-metre (26,545 ft) summit but miraculously survived after spending the night in harsh conditions on the mountain.

Irish climber Noel Hanna, 56, died on Monday while returning from the summit, Guragai said. The cause of death was not immediately known.

His body was carried down the mountain and taken to Kathmandu, the capital, Guragai said.

Hanna had summited Mount Everest 10 times and climbed the highest point on all seven continents.

In 2006, he climbed the world’s highest peak and then cycled from the route’s base camp to the sea in eastern India, reaching the Bay of Bengal after a marathon two-week bike ride.

Annapurna, the world’s tenth-highest mountain, is avalanche-prone, technically difficult and has a higher death rate than Everest.

Avalanche Nepal
In this January 18, 2020 photo, trekkers are being rescued in a helicopter a day after an avalanche hit Mount Annapurna trail in Nepal [File: Phurba Ongel Sherpa/AP]

Indian climber Kaur, 28, reached the summit on Monday but became exhausted and fell ill on the way down because she was not using any supplemental bottled oxygen, said Pasang Sherpa of Pioneer Adventure, who outfitted the expedition and organised a rescue effort.

He said Kaur spent the night on the mountain before she was able to make contact and was rescued by a helicopter.

She was taken to a hospital in Kathmandu where she walked from the ambulance to the hospital building with the help of a nurse.

Napal Annapurna
Trekkers watch the sun rise over the Annapurna Range in central Nepal [File: Malcolm Foster/AP]

The popular spring mountaineering season has just begun in the Himalayas in Nepal and hundreds of climbers have begun climbing the highest peaks.

Three Sherpa guides have been missing since last week, when they fell into a crevasse on a treacherous section of Mount Everest just above base camp on the world’s highest mountain.

The crevasse is estimated to be about 50 meters (160 ft) deep.

The trio was crossing the treacherous Khumbu icefall last Wednesday as part of a supply mission when a block of glacial ice fell and swept them into the deep crevasse.

Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks and welcomes hundreds of adventurers each spring climbing season, when temperatures are warm and winds are typically calm.

The government has issued more than 700 climbing permits for various Himalayan mountains this season, including 319 for Everest.

Source: News Agencies