Mountain rescue helicopter and mount Everest

Mountain rescue helicopter and mount Everest

Nepalese climbers are preparing to undertake the most complex recovery mission ever to be attempted on Mount Everest – in a bid to retrieve the body of Ravi Kumar.

The 27-year-old Kumar went missing on Saturday after reaching the summit of Mount Everest. It is reported that he became too weak to walk during the descent, and his guide went on alone at around 8pm, leaving Kumar with oxygen and heading back down the mountain to alert authorities and launch a rescue party.

The body of the Indian climber was discovered on Monday in a 200ft crevasse at 27,500ft; an area tellingly known as "the death zone" due to the severity of the oxygen levels.

Kumar was one of four people to die on the mountain that weekend.

Annapurna mountains in sunrise light.

Annapurna mountains

The retrieval of Kumar’s body has become somewhat controversial in that above the 26,000ft mark, it is incredibly difficult for one person to lift another, and as such it is often deemed too dangerous to attempt such missions in the area. Bodies are often left on the mountain.

The Indian Embassy have made it clear to the Nepalese government, according to reports from The Post, that the body must be recovered no matter the cost.

The government in Nepal relies on foreign aid for development projects and rebuilding after the infamous earthquake of 2015.

India have agreed to foot the costs of the recovery, which are likely to run up to around $70,000.

The chair of the Nepal Mountaineering Association Ang Tshering Sherpa has criticised the mission, saying in 'The Guardian': “It’s not just risky. It’s a most dangerous act to try to bring a frozen dead body from such a dangerous zone."

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Kumar’s body may have accumulated enough ice to weigh around 130kg.

He continued: “It would have been a different thing if Kumar was alive. We should be mindful and not be taking the decision to get that body from such a danger zone. The family should understand that."

Ten climbers have died on Everest this season, with a record 509 permits being issued to foreign climbers.

The NMA have also called for an age limit on who can climb Everest after the recent death of an 85 year old at base camp.

Further Reading:

Tragedy On Everest | Mountain’s Death Toll For Season Reaches 10 After Four Bodies Found

Everest’s Hillary Step Has Collapsed, Making Climbing the Mountain ‘More Dangerous’