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with Stefan Nestler

Breaking News: Accident on Nilgiri South in Nepal

Nilgiri South

Nilgiri South

Sad news from the Austrian expedition to the South Face of the 6839-meter-high Nilgiri South in the Annapurna massif in Nepal: A spokesman of the Austrian Foreign Office confirmed to me that one of the three climbers who had started their first summit attempt last Thursday was missing. According to him, the climber slipped during the descent and fell about 800 meters deep while his two team mates were looking on in horror. The two climbers descended to Base Camp. Fog and snowfall hampered the helicopter rescue operation. The search was going on, the spokesman said. He gave no details about the climber who fell into the depth adding that they were in touch with his relatives.

The well-know Austrian climber Hansjoerg Auer and his compatriots Alexander Bluemel and Gerhard Fiegl, both mountain guides from Tyrol, had tried to first climb the South Face of Nilgiri South. The Foreign Office spokesman said, he did not know whether the three climbers were on their descent from the top or turned back before reaching the summit.
The mountain was first climbed on 10 October 1978 by a Japanese expedition that was led by Kazao Mitsui, the climbers ascended from North via the East Ridge to the top. In 2003, Japanese climbers succeeded in opening a new route via the West Col and the North Face. Since the 1980s there have been several attempts by Japanese, Czech and Slowenian climbers to reach the summit of Nilgiri South via the South Face but all failed. The most successful was the try of the Slowenian team led by Tadej Golob who climbed up to an altitude of 6,600 meters until they were forced back by strong winds, fog and snowfall.

Update: A representative of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry told AFP that the missed climber was 27 years old. Hansjoerg Auer is four years older. Although the name of the victim is already circulating on the Internet, I will publish it only if it is confirmed.


29. October 2015 | 12:09