A team of four experienced Sherpas on Friday rescued a Malaysian climber who went missing over 7,000 meters up Mount Annapurna in the northwest of Nepal two days ago.
The 49-year-old Malaysian climber Wui Kin Chin had been reported missing during his descent from the 8,091-meter Mt Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain in the world, on Apr. 23.
“We flew to Annapurna on Thursday after knowing that a climber has been missing. But it was too difficult to rescue him from over 7,000 meters. We then flew four Sherpas to an altitude of 6,500 that day,” Captain Bibek Khadka of Simrik Air helicopter, which rescued the Malaysian from the mountainside, told Efe.
A helicopter had located Kin Chin on Thursday evening and he was seen waving his hands.
“The rescue experts reached the site where we had traced him on Thursday night and provided him foods and water,” he said. “They brought him down to 6,500 meters on Friday morning from where it was possible to lift him,” he told Efe.
Khadka said they conducted a long-line rescue, which involved the climber being attached to chord descended from the helicopter and hoisted to a rescue site.
"It was one of the most difficult long line rescues I had conducted ever,” he said.
The helicopter made seven flights in the operation to rescue the Malaysian, who has been admitted to a Kathmandu-based hospital.
“On Friday morning, due to high wind, we had to return several times, waiting for a window of good weather,” he said. "After waiting for hours, we had succeeded rescuing him at 11:00 am only.”
Mingma Sherpa, the Managing Director of Seven Summit Treks, the expedition handling agency, said that the Malaysian climber was out of danger.
He added that the Malaysian was part of the 13-member expedition led by French climber Barobian Michel Christian.
Nepal's tourism department recently told Efe that it had issued a record number of permits for those looking to take on the heady challenge of climbing Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, this spring.
As many as 375 fee-paying climbers, including 13 Nepali climbers, have been issued permits to scale the world’s tallest peak, Surendra Thapa, spokesperson for the Department of Tourism that issues the climbing permits, told Efe.
“With each climber hiring at least one local high altitude climbing guide, the total number of individuals on the mountain may reach 1,000 this season that is expected to begin from mid-May," he said.
“This is the highest number of climbing permits issued for the Everest expedition since the first successful ascent of the world’s highest mountain in 1953,” said Thapa. The highest number of climbers are from India (87), followed by the United States (68) and China (62) and the United Kingdom (42), according to the department.
Foreigners pay $11,000 to obtain the climbing permit and spend between $40,000 and $90,000 to climb Everest.
The government has collected $3.95 million revenue by issuing the Everest climbing permits this season. EFE-EPA