Two Dead and Two Still Missing After Avalanche Hits the World’s 14th Highest Mountain in Tibet

Published 10/09/2023, 2:23 PM EDT

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In the world of mountaineering, triumphs and tragedies often entwine. A poignant chapter unfolded on the slopes of Tibet’s formidable Mount Shishapangma. Among the bold souls who dared to conquer its heights, Tengen Sherpa stood as a beacon of inspiration, a man whose name resonated with record-setting ascends. Yet, as fate would have it, the same peaks that witnessed his remarkable achievements have now become the backdrop of a somber tale.

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In a tragic turn of events, American climber Anna Gutu and Nepalese guide Mingmar Sherpa lost their lives in an avalanche that hit Mount Shishapangma. An American climber Gina Marie Rzucidlo, and a Nepalese mountain guide Tenjen Sherpa are still missing. Let us delve into this article to explore more about the story.

Tragedy strikes at the heights of Shishapangma

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The incident occurred on a fateful Saturday afternoon at altitudes of 7,600 meters (about 25,000 feet) and 8,000 meters (about 26,000 feet). According to reports from China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency.

Adding to the grim news, two other climbers, American Gina Marie Rzucidlo and Nepalese mountain guide Tenjen Sherpa, were reported missing in the wake of the avalanches. Tenjen Sherpa had previously made history in July this year. He ended up setting a record for the fastest ascent of all 14 mountains which are over 8,000 meters (about 26,000 feet) high.

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Amidst the devastation, one glimmer of hope emerged. Nepalese mountain guide Karma Geljen Sherpa, seriously injured in the avalanches, was successfully escorted down the mountain by rescue teams and is now in stable condition.

The ill-fated expedition comprised 52 climbers from various countries. It also includes the United States, Britain, Japan, and Italy, who were attempting to conquer Mount Shishapangma when disaster struck. In response to the tragic events, climbing activities on the mountain have been temporarily suspended due to adverse snow conditions.

Rising risks and tragic losses 

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October is a popular time for Himalayan treks, as it comes after the rainy monsoon season. However, experts have sounded a cautionary note. Mount Shishapangma ranks as the 14th-highest mountain globally. It towers at an elevation of over 8,027 meters (approximately 26,335 feet) above sea level. The increasing risk of avalanches in the region due to climate change poses a threat to the mountaineers. Over the past two years, avalanches have claimed the lives of at least 120 individuals in the Himalayas.

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In the face of this heart-wrenching loss, the mountaineering community mourns, bound together by a shared understanding of the risk and rewards of the chosen path. As the Himalayas continue to cast their spell on adventures and dreamers, Anna Guttu and Mingmar Sherpa will forever remain a part of their story.

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Written by:

Naman Singh

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Naman Singh is a writer at EssentiallySports who covers Viral Sports Moments. His arsenal is well-rounded and he surely knows how to keep the readers engaged. Naman is interested in covering live events, as well as the off-court drama that comes with it.
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Edited by:

Arnima Shukla

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