Abandoned Malaysian Climber in Critical Condition in Hospital

The rescue team lowers Wui Kin Chin on a fixed line Photo: Mingma Sherpa

Malaysian climber Wui Kin Chin is currently in serious condition in Mediciti Hospital in Kathmandu. Kin Chin was at high altitude on Annapurna without supplementary oxygen, food or water for over 40 hours.

Wui Kin Chin, pictured lying on the snow, was found at 7,500m on Annapurna. Photo: Mingma David Sherpa

The 49-year-old Malaysian disappeared during his descent from the summit on April 23. He went missing somewhere below the French Couloir at 7,750m on Tuesday evening, but it is not known why his climbing guide or fellow climbers seemingly abandoned him.

Wui Kin Chin receives attention at Annapurna Base Camp. The Malaysian climber is reportedly in critical condition. Photo: Dawa Sherpa

During an initial aerial search on April 25, Kin Chin was seen waving at the helicopter crew at 08:00. A rescue team consisting of Nirmal Purja, Mingma David Sherpa, Geljen Sherpa and Gesman Tamang were then dropped at Camp 3 (6,500m) by longline. After five hours of climbing, they located Kin Chin at 17:30 local time at 7,500m.

“The rescue was difficult,” said Nirmal Purja. “The wind was picking up making the going and conditions harder. Chin was incredibly tired. As were we, after summiting 36 hours previously.”

The rescue team at Camp 3 on Annapurna. Photo: Mingma David Sherpa

Kin Chin was lowered down to Camp 3 (6,500m) late last night to await helicopter evacuation. The Malaysian’s condition deteriorated before he was evacuated by longline at 09:00 this morning, after three failed attempts at a pick-up.

Captain Bibek Khadka, left, one of the two Simirik Air pilots who dropped the rescue team at Camp 3 yesterday afternoon. Photo: Mingma Sherpa

Bureaucratic issues delayed Kin Chin’s rescue.

Correction: May 1, 2019 An earlier version of this article stated “His insurance company, Global Rescue, initially refused to authorize a search until his wife intervened, and Simirk Air was chartered.” We have removed this sentence as it was deemed to be incorrect in light of further information. An in-depth treatment of the facts can be found in a later article here.

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is a full-time PhD Exercise Scientist from the UK. Outside of work Ash is an outdoor and adventure writer who has written for Rock and Ice, Outside, Red Bull, The Telegraph, Financial Times, UK Climbing etc. In 2018 he led a 640km foot crossing of a frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia.

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14 Comments on "Abandoned Malaysian Climber in Critical Condition in Hospital"

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lukas furtenbach
Guest

1.) Could you please delete this video from this article in respect of the privacy of Wui Kin Chin and his family.

2.) Could you please ask the question why a climber has been left alone right on the route at 7750m on a guided, commercial expedition with a support level of 17 sherpas for 15 members, because „he was too exhausted to go down“ as their operator said?

TrishTN
Guest

The video is reporting. Same as CNN taping a fire rescue. It is appropriate.

Lukas Furtenbach
Guest

Imagine it’s your sun / husband / father. It’s absolutely inappropriate. No matter if you can see his face or not. It’s for the sheer sensation.
Thank you Explorersweb for removing it.

Rowan White
Editor
Hi Lukas, Thank you for the comments. Balancing the privacy of the individual and the feelings of his or her loved ones against the importance of sharing news is difficult for any organization that broadcasts news. In this instance, Wui Kin Chin’s face was not visible in the video nor was he showing any signs of distress. As such, we considered it acceptable to post the video and believe that major news outlets would have reached the same conclusion. However, the video did not add anything critical to the story – especially in light of the fact that a photo… Read more »
peter page
Guest

Stop cherry picking it’s appropriate, if you don’t want it you shouldn’t be on the frigging mountain!

mark
Guest

I would like to know more about why Global Rescue declined to help before the intervention.

Lukas Furtenbach
Guest

Do some google research about insurance fraud in in Nepal and the involved operators and you will find out.

Mark
Guest

I have heard mixed reviews on global rescue. I need reliable evac insurance for the SouthPole if anyone has recommendations 89 south to 90 south

Ddaves
Guest

Don’t go if you think you might need rescue

Dr EKNg
Guest

It is disgusting to learn of the delay to order a search by the Global Rescue till the climber’s wife intervened.

Alex Hibbert
Guest

It’s important that people familiarise themselves with the rescue membership that the climber purchased, before mis-targeting them as the cause of delays. Global Rescue does not offer search and rescue insurance. It offers medical transport from a known location to a safe medical facility. It may be that this climber did not have search and rescue insurance.

Hal Hill
Member
From Himalayan Times, April 30, A throwaway line from an article on current state of Malaysian climber Kin Chin: “Now, with the body temperature elevating, some visible progresses have also been noted in his health condition,” a source said, he lost his hands and legs to severe frostbite. If the source cited is correct Kim Chin will have paid quite a price. Part of the danger, Reinhold Messner, as in “mountains are not fair or unfair, simply dangerous.” I’ve been looking for a comment on Chin’s condition, something beyond “critical”. I don’t know if the line is factual, but it… Read more »
Roland
Guest

Abandoned is a word chosen by GR. It is a very loaded choice of phrase and it implies a great deal of things without verification. It also seems that the account of GR who were not on the scene is preferred over and above the people on the ground including Nirmal Purja MBE who is not a Sherpa and independent of all parties pointing fingers at one another.