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Himalayan Season Starts With Death on Dhaulagiri

Simone La Terra

Italian climber Simone La Terra has died at camp three on Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) in the Nepalese Himalayas.

Damber Parajuli, Managing Director at Prestige Adventure told The Himalayan Times that La Terra’s body was brought to Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu for postmortem.

La Terra went missing yesterday morning after a storm blew his tent away. The search team retrieved his body at a height of 6,100 metres.

He was part of a 15-member team led by Spanish female climber Catalina Quesada Castro.

According to a climbing record, La Terra has climbed five 8,000-metre peaks and has also organised over a dozen expeditions between Himalayas and Karakorum.

He successfully climbed Shisha Pangma, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II, Cho Oyu and Manaslu. La Terra attempted Dhaulagiri in 2013 but stopped at 7,200 metres during high winds.

According to the Department of Tourism, at least 26 climbers of two different teams have already headed to the base camp to attempt to climb the world’s seventh highest peak this season.

Among them, Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontan (79) is a part of another 11-member team led by Serbian climber Dargon Celkovic.

In 2017, a 33-year-old Sherpa guide became hypothermic and fell to his death and the year before a Dutch climber disappeared on the mountain and an Indian climber died of altitude sickness.

The Himalayan spring climbing season starts in April when temperatures warm and winds are typically calm.

This year the Nepal government has issued permits to 792 mountaineers to attempt summits of 26 mountains in the country from April to May, including 346 permits for the world’s highest peak, Everest.