Five men who disappeared earlier this week trying to climb the world’s third-highest mountain are feared dead, searchers leading the recovery effort in Nepal said on Friday, saying few could survive this long that high.
One of them is 45-year-old Hungarian climber Zsolt Eross, who has climbed 12 of the world’s 14 highest peaks and who was climbing this week with a prosthetic leg after a 2010 accident.
The group climbing the 28,169-foot Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas included a South Korean, another Hungarian and two Sherpas, BBC said.
“All our efforts to trace them have failed,” an expedition organizer told BBC. “The weather is bad and we’ve run out of resources to recover their bodies.”
The men were identified as Namsoo Park, 47, Eross, Peter Kiss, 27, Bibash Gurung, 24, and Pho Dorchi, 23.
Eross was an experienced climber who reached the summit of Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest peak, last year after losing his right leg below the knee in 2010.
According to the New York Times, there might have been a fall while the climbers descended from 25,900 feet.
A Hungarian news blog said it was Kiss who fell, and suggested subsequent recovery efforts are unlikely.
“The search and rescue operation is over,” expedition spokesman Szabolcs Vincze said. “The Sherpas did their best and they returned to a safe altitude once again without finding any traces of the climbers. … If Peter and Zsolt stuck at that altitude and spent the night outdoors, they had virtually no chance to survive.”
BBC called Kanchenjunga “technically challenging with high chances of blizzards and avalanches.”
May is considered the best month to attempt a summit in the Himalayas.
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