Two Hungarian expedition climbers, Zsolt Erőss and Péter Kiss have disappeared while descending from the summit of Kangchenjunga (8586 m) said expedition spokesman Szabolcs Vincze on Wednesday.
The two Hungarian climbers, disappeared around 8000 meter altitude while descending from the peak and the Sherpas who launched a rescue operation could not find any of them at camp 4 (7600 meters), or in the surrounding area.
Index.hu reported that Spanish climbers heard Zsolt Erőss' radio message saying that his partner, Péter Kiss fell to his death while descending from the peak. Spokesman Vincze Szabolcs could not confirm the news, but called it a real possibility.
The 8586 meter high summit of Kangchenjunga road (Photo: MTI)
"The search and rescue operation is over, the Sherpas did their best and they returned to a safe altitude once again without finding any traces of the climbers " said Szabolcs. He added that since the Sherpas have searched camp 4th (7600 meters) and its surrounding area and haven't found any of them, the probability is that they were trapped higher up in around minus 30 degrees centigrade.
"If Péter and Zsolt stuck at that altitude and spent the night outdoors, they had virtually no chance to survive," said the spokesman.
Szabolcs could not say what next; the head of the expedition are trying to organize another rescue operation, but it is not sure that this can be done.
Index.hu recalled that the climbers spent nearly two days over 8000 meters altitude, which is being called the death zone: due to the low oxygen level the human body is unable to function properly at this height. They spent one night at 8300 meters, and they were very exhausted, they hardly could move.
Zsolt Erőss and Péter Kiss reached the 8586-meter summit of Kangchenjunga on Monday. The Hungarian climbers were battling with fatigue all along, and while descending from the peak they lost one other and they have never reached the base camp at 7600 meters.
“Hungarians Climbing the World's 8000 m Peaks” expedition series launched by Lajos Kollár, Zsolt Erőss and Péter Kiss after successfully conquering Mount Everest in 2002. The goal was to reach the world's 14 eight thousand meter high mountain peaks. After successfully reaching Kanchenjunga only Annapurna and K2 remained to be conquered.
Zsolt Erőss's wife Hilda Sterczer and her two children; she is one of Hungary's most well-known female mountain climbers who conquered two 8000 m high mountains with her husband. Photo: blikk.hu
Zsolt Erőss's wife Hilda Sterczer (who herself an experienced mountain climber) said in the evening television news that she has already accepted the fact that her husband wouldn't come home and she has already prepared her older child for the death of her father.
Hilda Sterczer who herself conquered several peaks with her husband said that when she has leaned that the “assault” of the summit took 24 hours she knew right away that a major tragedy was unfolding and prepared for the worst.
On May 21, 2013, eleven climbers tried to reach Kanchenjunga (8586 meters) the world's third highest peak; among them Italians, Spaniards, Koreans, Hungarians, and a mix of Nepalese helpers. Five of them died including Zsolt Erőss and Péter Kiss.
Latest news on the disappearance of the mountain climbers
A team of ten Sherpas will launch a major operation to try to detect where the two Hungarian, one South Korean and the two Sherpas suffered the accident. "We can not say for sure what caused their disappearance, an avalanche or they fell into their death" said Dipendra Paudel, Nepal's tourism ministry official to AFP.
The climbers were last seen at the altitude of 7800 meters, but Paudel believes the chance is very small that the climbers are still alive. Besides Erőss and Kiss, South Korea's Pak Nam Su, Bibas Gurung and Pho Dorchi of Nepal disappeared.
It is not sure when the rescue team launch the operation. However, Paudel noted that the search and rescue helicopter will be sent only if the Sherpas manage to accurately determine the location of the accident.
(nemzetisport.hu – hungarianambiance.com)