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Amid avalanche warnings due to global warming, 4 climbers dead or missing in Tibet’s Shishapangma

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct08’23) – An avalanche hit Mount Shishapangma in Chinese ruled Tibet on Oct 7 afternoon, leaving four climbers dead or missing and one other seriously injured, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Oct 7. Global warming is said to have increased the risk of avalanches during what was previously considered the safe October month for climbing the Himalayan mountains.

The high slopes of the mountain was stuck by avalanches as more than 50 climbers were making a push for the summit, killing an American and Nepalese mountaineer, reported Reuters Oct 8.

October is a popular month for climbers in the Himalayas due to its traditionally more stable conditions as monsoon rain eases. But scientists warn that global warming is raising avalanche risks in high-altitude regions including the Himalayas, the report said.

A total of 52 climbers were stated to be pushing for the summit when two avalanches hit, including from the United States, Britain, Romania, Albania, Italy, Japan and Pakistan.

All climbing activity on Shishapangma has now been reported suspended due to the unstable snow conditions.

Mount Shishapangma, at just over 8,000 metres, is the world’s 14th tallest peak in Tibet. (Photo courtesy: PNB)

Shishapangma, at just over 8,000 metres, is the world’s 14th tallest peak. It is also said to be the only mountain above that height located entirely in Tibet.

Those killed have been named as American climber Anna Gutu and Nepalese guide Mingmar Sherpa.

Another American climber, Gina Marie Rzucidlo, and her Nepalese guide, Tenjen Sherpa, were reported missing.

Tenjen Sherpa was stated to be the guide for Norway’s Kristin Harila when they climbed K2 in Pakistan in July to become the world’s fastest climbers to scale all of the 14 peaks over 8,000 metres.

Another Nepalese guide Karma Geljen Sherpa, was reported seriously hurt on Oct 7 and escorted down the mountain by rescuers.

Two Pakistani climbers, were reported to have narrowly escaped the avalanches on the same day after calling off their summit bid due to poor weather despite coming within a few hundred metres of the peak.

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