Pemba Sherpa Perishes in Crevasse

The search for Pemba Sherpa, who scaled Mount Everest eight times, has been called off five days after the veteran mountaineer fell into a crevasse. 

The 45-year-old, who has climbed six of the world’s 10 highest peaks, was on his way back to base camp from a successful summit of Saser Kangri IV (7,416m) when he broke through a snow bridge and disappeared.

 “A team comprising members of Indo-Tibetan Border Police, personnel from the Nubra police station and fellow Sherpas searched for him unsuccessfully throughout Saturday [and Sunday] with no success,” reported Asim Kumar Mondal of the Mountaineers’ Association of Krishnanagar (MAK).

Pemba Sherpa fell into a crevasse on July 13 and presumably perished. The search has been called off. (Photo: Dream Wanderlust)

The descent was expected to take around six hours. Pemba led, accompanied by two climbers and two other Sherpas. Conditions were clear, but the bright sun may have made it more difficult to spot crevasses hidden under the melting snow. Reports indicate Pemba may have fallen down a sheer 40-metre-drop into icy water below.

The crevasse where Pemba disappeared.

 The rescue operation began immediately and included his expedition partner and  brother Pashang.  After two days of fruitless searching, aided by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the group reluctantly returned to base camp. The search has now been called off.

Pemba, who hails from Darjeeling in West Bengal, had previously climbed Cho Oyu twice, as well as Kanchenjunga, Annapurna I, Makalu and Manasalu.