Abandoned Malaysian Climber in Critical Condition in Hospital

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.