Shishapangma: Mingma G Injured During Rescue

The situation is far from over on Shishapangma. Yesterday, two avalanches on the upper part of the mountain left two climbers dead, two missing (but buried in the avalanche), and three injured. Today, Mingma G suffered a serious head injury while helping with the rescue.

At least some of the injured climbers are still in higher camps. Conditions are bad, increasing the difficulty and risk of the operation. All the outfitting companies on the mountain are trying to obtain Chinese permission to fly rescue helicopters over the border to Shishapangma, but the process is very complex and unlikely to be solved over the weekend.

Mingma G has no time for that. Rescue services will transport him by road to the border tomorrow, together with an injured sherpa guide. They will fly to the hospital as soon as they reach Nepal, Imagine Nepal told ExplorersWeb.

Two avalanches

While details are still limited, some information about what happened yesterday is coming to light.

Several teams were engaged in a full summit push. After Camp 3, the teams took two separate routes to the summit.

“The first avalanche caught Anna Gutu and Mingmar Sherpa. The second one, which happened after about [another] two hours, caught Gina Marie Rzucidlo and Tenjen Lama,” Imagine Nepal told ExplorersWeb.


Shishapangma. Photo: Wikipedia


After Camp 3, there are several options to reach the summit ridge of Shishapangma. (You can check all the route details on our Shishapangma climber’s guide). It appears that both American women and their sherpas were ahead of the other climbers, but they took different routes.

After an avalanche caught Gutu and Mingmar, Rzucidlo and her supporting team kept climbing on their route. The first avalanche fell at about 11 am at roughly 7,800m. The second fell around 1 pm, burying the second group some 80m below the summit ridge on a slightly different route, The Himalayan Times wrote.

“After the avalanche, all climbers stopped and descended to Camp 2. Some guides headed up to search and try to rescue the missing climbers,” Imagine Nepal said.

It is not clear whether the climbers below turned around after the first or the second avalanche. But Naila Kiani’s tracker was off for some time, suggesting that they may have been waiting in a rather tense situation.

A fall from above Camp 3

Among those lower down were Mingma G and Dipen Sherpa of Imagine Nepal, and an undetermined number of climbers from other teams. Through the rest of the day, they recovered the bodies of Gutu and Mingmar and rescued three injured sherpa climbers: Karma Sherpa, Mitra Bahadur Tamang, and Kami Rita Sherpa (not the one with 28 Everest summits, although both share the same name).

Today, rescuers continued their efforts. The China Tibet Mountaineering Association deployed 20 Tibetan guides to help. They are currently on their way to the higher camps. They also sent a medical team to Base Camp.

Mingma G Sherpa reportedly fell from some point above Camp 3. Last night, rescuers brought him down to Camp 2 and are now carrying him to Base Camp, The Himalayan Times reported. Rescuers are also trying to bring Karma Gyalzen Sherpa down from Camp 3.

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.