The fickle Himalayas turned unforgiving at the close of the climbing season as chances of bringing the bodies of Paresh Nath – a trekker from Durgapur — and felolow climber Gautam Ghosh became bleak with the impending sealing of the routes to Mount Everest after midnight. The Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) announced that it would cut off the routes for a year after tonight, officials said.
Ang Dorjee Sherpa, the Chairman of SPCC said the pollution monitor was preparing to shut down the approaches to Mount Everest for the year. The Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, a non-profit organisation, located in Kathmandu works to manage waste on the Himalayan routes to Mount Everest— which accumulates litter during the peak climbing season.
“In that case, bodies of Paresh Nath and Gautam Ghosh from Bengal are likely to be abandoned in the high altitudes for another year,” Pradip Sarkar, an executive with the Durgapur Mountaineer&’s Association, said.
Sarkar met Sanita Nath – widow of Paresh at his house in Sarat Chandra Road in the Durgapur Steel Township today— with two other members of the Durgapur Mountaineers’ Association to offer condolence to the bereaved family. Paresh was a member of the mountaineering organisation.
Sagarmoy Chowdhury, the secretary of the Association said: “Regardless the climate, mountains have always been brutal. Paresh had been a successful climber despite of his physical deficiencies since 1991 and he had nourished the dream to conquer the tallest peak in the world.”
Paresh and Gautam lost contact with the principal team at high altitudes on 21 May and could not be traced. They had oxygen to last for 48 hours. Wanchu Sherpa, managing director of the Nepal Trekker Company – a premier agency conducting the Mount Everest tours said, “The climbers died because of insufficient life support gas.” He said Paresh Nath’s body could have been retrieved, but inclement weather conditions did not permit it. “Gautam&’s body couldn’t be located as yet in either way,” he added.
The body of Rajib Bhattacharya, another climber, was flown back to Kolkata by air from Kathmandu this evening and taken to his home in Baranagar. The state government has decided to accord a guard of honour to the deceased mountaineer.
Sunita Hazra, a woman mountaineer who survived her frost bites, returned in the same flight as well. She was received by minister Aroop Biswas.
Hazra said she did not dream of making it to the end. “I never thought that I would be able to survive. Surviving at 25,000 feet is the biggest challange. When I was rescued, my fight was for my son Arya.”
When asked about her feeling of this tremendous situation, Hazra said,
“Returning home is the toughest thing.” The mountaineer expressed her wish to spend time with her family before embarking on a future expedition.
S.A. Baba, secretary of the Youth Welfare department leading the state delegation in Kathmandu said on Saturday, “The chopper to bring back the body of Subhas Pal – trekker from Bankura was ready at Lukla airstrip but rough weather posed a hurdle. If all goes well the body will be flown to Kolkata on Monday.” Baba said the rescue team for Paresh Nath and Gautam was still camping at Camp 2 but could not proceed because of heavy snow deposition.”
He added: “Since today is the last day of the climbing season and all the routes close after midnight, we have no option but to suspend our efforts for this year.”