One Killed, Another Rescued on Possibly Illegal Climb

Himalaya Mountain
The rescue from Chukima Go. Photo shared on Facebook by Alex Txikon

Felipe Valverde, 44, of Spain was killed yesterday while descending from the summit of 6,257m Chukima Go in the Nepal Himalaya. His rope somehow became untied and he fell 700m to his death. His climbing mate, David Suela, became stranded around 6,000m, but managed to contact another Spanish expedition nearby and asked for rescue. Those climbers, Mikel Zabalza and Sonia Casas, called Alex Txikon, who is currently at home in Spain. Txikon coordinated the rescue efforts. Despite rough weather, Suela was airlifted by longline earlier today.

Txikon praised fellow climbers for Suela’s successful rescue, as insurance companies might have taken too long to green light the money, thus jeopardizing the survivor’s life. However, it is unclear from Txikon’s long Facebook post who paid for the rescue in the end.

David Suela is evacuated by longline from Chukima Go. Photo shared on Facebook by Alex Txikon

Safely back in Kathmandu, David Suela now faces a different problem. Nepal’s Department of Tourism reports that the he and his late partner had no climbing permit and so were on the mountain illegally. Apparently, two Spanish climbers did have permits for Chukima Go, but their names didn’t correspond to Valverde’s and Suela’s. Until this is sorted out, Suela’s passport has been seized, and the authorities may take legal action.

David Suela is lowered to the ground after his dramatic rescue. Photo shared by Alex Txikon on Facebook

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Sport journalist, published author and communication consultant. Feeling back home at ExplorersWeb after five years exploring distant professional ranges.

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5 Comments on "One Killed, Another Rescued on Possibly Illegal Climb"

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Organic Climber
Guest

If it’s not the mountain that’ll kill him, it’ll be the redtape and all the implications at Kathmandu that will…

Craig Quigley
Guest

Shouldn’t be on there without a permit. So he deserves all what’s coming to him in Kathmandu.

Your Mom
Guest

No man or government entity owns any mountain. Permits only matter to fools like you and those benefiting on the back end. You’re an idiot craig

Craig Quigley
Guest

He should respect the rules of the country he is in. There are many reasons for permits. You’re the idiot Troll

Not an Everest Climber
Guest
Not an Everest Climber

You’re not a very good troll. Still in your rookie stages I see. You’ve got some work to do.