Two Dead on Kangchenjunga

Kangchenjunga from Base Camp. Photo: Seven Summit Treks.

Two Indian climbers have died on Kangchenjunga (8,586m), the world’s third highest mountain. The victims has been confirmed by Seven Summit Treks as Kuntal Karar (46) and Biplab Baidya (48). They developed altitude difficulties during their descent.

Kuntal Karar

Biplab had reached the summit, while Karar — whose difficulties began on the climb up from Camp 4 — did not.

Nirmal Purja and two Sherpas, Gesman Tamang and Mingma David, had helped the stricken pair down to Camp 4 for the night. Other rescuers were also climbing up to Camp 4 with oxygen bottles and supplies, ready to lead them down to Camp 2 the next morning.

The two were clients of the Peak Promotion trekking company.

Related story:

Kangchenjunga Rescue Fails

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is a postdoctoral scientist, globally published outdoor writer and arctic traveller. Ash's next expedition is a 700km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in 2020.

Read more at www.ashrouten.com

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4 Comments on "Two Dead on Kangchenjunga"

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Rowena Baker
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It seems we cannot solely rely on insurance or membership companies for rescue. Oxygen tanks for rescue, should be a prerequsite and be readily available at Camp 4 where major disasters seem to happen right after summit and upon descent. No rescue by any organisation will go to that altitude. Least we can do is to have the oxygen readily available in the event.

Craig Quigley
Guest
I kind of see what you’re saying, but the problem lies deeper and is more complex than having Extra oxygen and reliability of rescue insurance. I don’t know the specifics of this case, but in general more and more climber’s are attempting mountain’s, that they’re simply not skilled/experienced enough for. Add to that bad guides, and the refusal to give up the summit when they’re clearer struggling and should be turned around. At that altitude it’s an unwritten rule that ‘it’s every person for their self’ and rescues are putting Sherpa’s, other climber’s and support such as high altitude helicopter… Read more »
Rachel
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Further to Craig’s comments, some climbers will opt for limited support expeditions to keep their costs down. This often means their company is only responsible for logistics at base and advanced base camp and they are responsible for themselves afterwards. Also means there is nobody responsible for telling them to turn around if they are in trouble but summit fever is pushing them on. I don’t know if that was the case here but it has been in recent similar incidents. Unless countries ban these low support climbs (unlikely as they still receive their full permit payment) these situations will… Read more »
Sheila Williams
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