Nepalese rescue team members saving one of the avalanche survivors on Mount Everest. - AFP
KATHMANDU: Rescuers on Mount Everest found the body of a 13th Nepalese guide buried under snow as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from the deadliest accident ever on the world’s highest peak.
Three sherpas remain missing from Friday’s avalanche. The victims were among a large party of sherpas who left Everest base camp before dawn, carrying tents, food and ropes to prepare camps for foreign clients ahead of the main climbing season, which starts later this month.
“One (more) body has been recovered,” police official Kumar Timilsina said from the base camp of the 8,848m peak.
“The search party will continue to look for the missing three,” he said.
The avalanche occurred early Friday at an altitude of about 5,800m in an area nicknamed the “popcorn field” due to ice boulders on the route leading into the treacherous Khumbu icefall.
Dozens of guides were on the move when a huge block of ice broke off from a hanging glacier, before splitting into smaller chunks and barrelling down into the icefall, one of the most dangerous areas on the route to ascend Everest.
The ice “tumbled for several thousand feet, resulting in debris that came further out into the icefall”, according to an account by the International Mountain Guides climbing company, which has a team stationed on the peak.
Timilsina said climbers had suspended all expeditions until rescue operations ended.
Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, said guides’ families would receive life insurance payments amounting to US$10,000 (RM32,398). — AFP