Missing Mongolian Climbers Found Dead On Everest

A search team dispatched by 8K Expeditions has found the body of missing Mongolian climber Usukhjargal Tsedendamba, 53. The patrol also turned up a second corpse that they believe is his partner, Purevsuren Lkhagvajav, 31. Both were members of a Mongolian team and went missing after attempting to summit Everest without oxygen last Monday.

“The search-and-rescue sherpa team found one of the missing climbers this morning at Everest’s South Summit, at approximately 8,550m,” Lakpa Sherpa of 8K told ExplorersWeb. “One more body was found a bit lower down, lying right above the Triangular Face, but his identity still needs to be verified. The rescuers were only able to take pictures of the body before retreating in difficult conditions.”

The summit pyramid of Everest with the Balcony and south summit marked

The upper part of Everest’s South Side route. Photo: Hip Hop Everest Expedition


Shortly after, Prateek Gupta of the insurance company Adventure Sports Cover 360, told ExplorersWeb that they were informed that both missing climbers had been found, one around 8,600m and the second around 8,400m.

Tough conditions

Climbers Michal Ryszard Wensierski of the UK and Purba Sherpa of Makalu Adventure first notified rescuers about the bodies’ location. The Makalu Adventure pair summited on Wednesday despite bad weather and reportedly saw the deceased Mongolians near the South Summit. Today’s rescue patrol located the remains of the first climber then scouted the summit area and peered toward the Tibetan side of the mountain.

Conditions are presently tough on Everest. Lakpa Sherpa said that the rescuers had to climb in very bad weather. Despite this, many teams gathered in Camp 2 are heading up to higher camps. Sherpa staff need to enlarge and supply Camp 4 at 7,900m in preparation for the massive summit push to begin this weekend. May 19-22 will be very busy days on Everest.

Who retrieves the bodies?

The Mongolian climbers had only hired services until Base Camp. They used the fixed ropes but climbed without supplementary oxygen or personal sherpa support. According to the new mandates for Everest, the outfitting agencies are responsible for bringing the bodies down. At that altitude, this is no small task. However, whether that requirement will be enforced this year is unclear.

Prateek Gupta told ExplorersWeb that the insurance company is coordinating with 8K, the families of the deceased climbers, and the Mongolian consulate. “We are planning to bring the bodies down to Base Camp, from which we will repatriate them back home,” he said.

As in previous years, a clean-up expedition deployed by the Nepalese Army is currently on the mountain. This time, they are focusing on the upper slopes and are collecting garbage, abandoned gear, and even dead bodies. According to the Everest Chronicle, they have retrieved two bodies in the last few days, one from Everest and another from Lhotse, and airlifted them to Kathmandu for identification.

Military in front of a helicopter at Everest BC with a bundle

Nepal Army personnel prepare to airlift one of the dead bodies at Everest Base Camp.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.