A multi-day search has been called off for Pemba Sherpa, 45, who’d climbed Everest eight times and led a number of successful expeditions up hard climbs.
Pemba broke through a snow bridge and fell into a glacier during a descent from the top of Saser Kangri IV in India.
Anil Retwade of Pune Venturers (a mountaineering club), Basanta Singh Roy of the Mountaineers’ Association of Krishnagar and three sherpas — Pemba, Tshring and Lakpa — were on the climb.
Pemba was out in front leading the way and then, “It happened in a split second,” said Retwade.
“One moment, Pemba was in front of me, leading the way, and the very next, he had fallen through the ice.
“We knew there was nothing we could do. Temperature drops to minus degrees inside the crevasse and the water that appears to be 30-40 ft in depth could actually be much deeper.”
Asim Kumar Mondal of the Mountaineers’ Association of Krishnanagar said, “A team comprising members of Indo-Tibetan Border Police, personnel from the Nubra police station and fellow Sherpas searched for him unsuccessfully throughout Saturday [and Sunday] with no success.”
A further report said, “Pemba was descending after a successful summit along with a climber from Bengal and another climber from Pune.
“During the course of the descent he suddenly fell into a crevasse before reaching camp one on 13th July, 2018. Other Sherpas including his brother Pashang have tried to rescue him throughout the day but failed to trace him. Pemba stayed inside the crevasse. The search team however was unable to trace him.”
Pemba had also climbed Kanchenjunga, Annapurna I, Makalu, Cho Oyu twice and Manaslu.
The team of experienced climbers were not roped up when Pemba fell over 40 metres into the glacier and likely into water deep down.