KATHMANDU, APR 20 : The search and rescue mission comprising nine high-altitude Sherpa guides and three foreigners retrieved one more body from Friday’s avalanche site at the Everest base camp on Saturday.
The team pulled out the body of Dorjee Khatri of Taplejung from the snow rubble after three hours of search which was stymied by bad weather.
Bodies of three other victims are yet to be retrieved, and the search party sees slim chances of recovering them.
A member of the search team said they have decided to “abandon the mission because there is too much risk involved”.
“No one wants to risk their life searching bodies at such a dangerous site,” said Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa of Himalayan Rescue Association. There has been continuous snowfall since Saturday noon. If the weather condition persists on Sunday then the search could be hindered. Dambar Parajuli, the president of Expedition Operators’ Association, said that a meeting has been called on Sunday morning to decide whether the search mission should be continued.
Fifteen high-altitude Sherpa guides including base camp cooks had perished in an avalanche on Friday morning, the deadliest mountaineering accident ever on the world’s highest peak. All mountaineering activities at the Everest base camp has been stopped since Friday. Officials at the base camp said that many climbers have made their minds to discontinue the expedition in the wake of the disaster, save a few who remain undeterred and wish to press on.
As the climbing season approaches, around 390 climbers have reached the base camp with the intent to conquer the peak as of Friday.