Purja Retrieves Bodies from Shisha Pangma

Nirmal Purja has recovered the bodies of Mingmar Sherpa and Anna Gutu from Shisha Pangma. An avalanche killed the two Elite Exped climbers last fall, and their bodies were left in Camp 2.

He obtained permission from the China-Tibet Mountaineering Association to go to Shisha Pangma to fetch the bodies. China had closed Shisha Pangma to all other foreign groups this spring.

Purja said the recovery mission took three difficult days. The bodies were conveyed from the mountain to the nearest road, then driven to Kathmandu.

Kristin Harila of Norway also hoped to go to Shisha Pangma this spring to lead a similar search for the bodies of Tenjen Lama and Gina Rzucidlo. They died in a separate avalanche on Shisha Pangma that same day. She specified she didn’t intend to summit, but merely to locate the bodies, buried somewhere on the upper ramps of the mountain. She was denied permission.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included a report from The Himalayan Times that an Elite Exped group had been caught on Everest without a permit. It turns out that there was at least one inaccuracy in that newspaper’s account. We are investigating further. Until we determine whether any of the allegations were true, we have removed our coverage of their report.

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.