On April 29, top Bulgarian mountaineer Boyan Petrov attempted to summit Shishapangma alone and has since been declared missing.
Update May 11: Two rescue helicopters from the Simrik Air rescue have been deployed to Shishapangma Base Camp from Kathmandu. Bad weather has been slowing any rescue efforts.
Petrov was hoping to climb three 8,000-metre peaks this year: Shishapangma, Everest and Cho Oyu. He’d already climbed 10 of the 8,000-metre summits, all without supplemental oxygen.
Petro’s wife Radoslava Nenova reported on Facebook: “He has certainly tried to get to the top because his tent was at camp three.
“The weather has deteriorated sharply and the other boys have gone down to the base camp. They moved one day after him.”
An official post was issued by the Foreign Ministry press centre, stating that at the Embassy of Bulgaria in Beijing on May 6, received information from the Tibetan Mountaineer Association that Bulgarian mountaineer Boyan Petrov was missing from May 3, 2018.
According to the information received, his disappearance was noticed by the participants in the Shishapangma expedition at about 7,500 metre.
Immediately afterwards, three people were sent to search for him. Due to a sudden worsening of the weather conditions in the area, the three climbers temporarily ceased the search.
Bulgaria’s Embassies in Beijing and Delhi are in constant contact with local institutions and are closely following the case.
“In the mountains, people become more of a family and I know that they will do their best to find him and complete this story with a happy end,” said Radoslava, with optimism.
KaliFa, a sponsor for another climbing expedition on Shishapangma, reported that Petrov was climbing with David Klein, before electing to go on alone.
“The solo climb was close to his heart and he had further plans for the spring season, so, if possible, he wanted to get to the top early,” said Klein.
Petrov had “almost certainly” been seen by telescope from base camp on May 3, at roughly the same altitude as Camp three.
He made the first Bulgarian ascents of Manaslu, K2, Kangchenjunga and Gasherbrum I.
Petrov is a zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia and a cancer survivor.