Avalanche wiped out Camp III on K2,Climbers remain Safe

RAJAN POKHREL

K2 climbers return from Camp III

KATHMANDU: The world’s second highest mountain, Mt K2 in Pakistan, is going to draw a blank this summer season after a massive avalanche swept away the Camp III on Saturday morning forcing all mountaineers to quit their attempts.

According to Mingma Sherpa, Managing Director at Seven Summits Trek, all climbers including more than 25 climbing Sherpas gave up their bids to climb the 8,611-metre peak after the avalanche struck the Camp III sweeping all climbing equipment this morning.

“All climbers and climbing Sherpas are safe as they had already returned to lower camps due to the bad weather,” Sherpa quoted his clients as saying over phone from the mountain.

According to Sherpa, there were more 100 climbers including as many as 25 Nepali Sherpas heading to the world’s second highest peak this season. All members and climbing Sherpas were safe, he said.

“K2 United can confirm an avalanche wiped out all the tents at camp II but all teams are ok,” the K2 United Expedition posted on its Facebook Page.

Most of the teams had left the base camp on July 10 for higher camps, but the bad weather forced them to retreat afterwards.

“The avalanche struck the Camp III as climbers were waiting for next summit window (expectedly July 24),” Sherpa said, adding that the climbers had already given up two summit pushes after July 10 due to bad weather conditions.

Jamling Bhote (52) and Mingma Dorchi (44), who had already scaled the world’s most difficult mountain twice, also attempted to climb the Mt K2 thrice for a world record this season.

Among other climbers, Ruben Payan of the Powerful Human Expedition and Vanessa O’Brien, who aims to become the first American-British woman to ascend the killer mountain, had also reached the Northern Pakistan for the climbing attempt this season. Vanessa was a part of the K2 United Expedition.

It is considered that Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli became the first climbers to stand atop the summit July 31, 1954.

Mountaineer Alan Arnette, who is also the oldest American to successfully climb the Mt K2 at the age of 58 in 2014, posted on his widely-read webpage that only 355 people have summited the world’s second highest peak till date.

“The K2 is the most challenging of all the Karakoram 8000ers and it is significantly more difficult and dangerous than the Mt Everest,” the Colorado-based climber posted.

Nanga Parbat: First Summit Push Unsuccessful, Next Try and Attempts to Reach C2 on Kinshofer Route

Strong wind forced the new route/variant climbers, Yannick Graziani, Ferran Latorre and Hélias Millerioux, to turn back just below North Summit of Nanga Parbat, today. “We will try (again),” says Ferran Latorre. Meanwhile, on normal route struggle continues to overcome Kinshofer Wall and establish C2 (6100m).

North Face Summit Attempt

Yannick Graziani, Ferran Latorre and Hélias Millerioux launched the final summit push from C4 (7400m) this morning but despite a forecast of gentle conditions, they encountered very strong wind on ascent. The three climbers, thus, retreated from around 7800m on upper reaches of Czechoslovakian 1978 route and are back in C4 on North Face. The expedition isn’t over yet, as climbers are eager to reattempt. Since, weather is predicted to remain favorable for next two days and climbers haven’t descended to lower camps, it’s probable (not confirmed yet, though) that they may go for summit again, tomorrow. (Update: Climbers are already below C1, on the way to Base Camp.)

Ferran Latorre’s tracker shows team’s route of ascent. Source

After reaching 7000m once and spending more night in lower C2 (at 6500m) for acclimatization, Yannick, Ferran and Hélias launched summit push from Base Camp on July 7th. After spending first night in C1 (5800m), the team moved Camp 2 to 6700m (a couple of hundred meters higher than previous location) on July 8th. Given the strong wind above 8000m and projected summit days, the climbers initially planned to spend a day resting in C2. But July 9th dawned as a perfect day and they grabbed the opportunity to advance to next camp at 7000m.

It snowed for multiple hours on July 10th and the trio faced deep snow during their rise from C3 to C4 (7400m). The team estimated that it will take them approximately 10-12hrs to reach the top from C4. However, bad weather foiled the first summit attempt at 7800m.

Update:-
“Back at the base camp. Wandering thoughts. We were so close to the top this morning on this virgin route. We were missing only 300 meters …. 300 … but damn 300 meters in the storm. What can we do?” Yannick Graziani is rightly disappointed, as the trio reached BC this evening. The French alpinist says that there will not be a second attempt on new route, this season.

Ferran Latorre and Hélias Millerioux will try to reach the summit via normal route, though. Note that, if successful it will be 13th eight-thousander for Ferran.

Ferran and Helias climbing from C3 to C4; Source

Kinshofer Route

Unlike good conditions on North Face, the Kinshofer route climbers are facing challenges to reach C2 (6100m). The gully leading to Kinshofer wall is full of hard ice, and all teams apparently rely on resources (ropes etc) of Migon Kim’s Korean-Chinese expedition and Kim Hong-bin’s Korean team to fix this section. These teams arrived late and were less acclimatized to reach C2. The other climbers, hence, either slept in C1 only or acclimatized on Ganalo Peak.

Nonetheless, the teams started C1 – C2 rope-fixing couple of days ago, and should reach the latter camp soon. The tracker of Spanish climber Pepe Saldaña and Fernando Fernández Vivancos shows that the duo went up from C1 today and reached the bottom of Kinshofer Wall before turning back. No recent information is available about Bulgarian-Hungarian team of Boyan Petrov, Ivan Tomov and Csaba Varga.

via Altitude Pakistan

Nepal to investigate claims of fraud in Mt Everest climb certifications

mt everest

Nepal has opened an investigation into an Indian police couple accused of falsifying photographs to support their claim of summiting Mount Everest this year, an official says.

Key points:

  • Climbers investigated for fraud over alleged fake Everest photos
  • Pictures show the pair holding flags on summit
  • Mountaineers angry because couple received Everest climb certificates

Indian police constables Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod earlier told reporters they reached the top of the 8,848-metre peak on May 23 but their claims were thrown into doubt after fellow climbers accused the couple of doctoring photographs of themselves on the summit.

“We have started an investigation into the Indian police couple’s claim of scaling Mount Everest,” said Nepal tourism chief Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal.

The tourism department initially certified the couple’s summit claims after speaking to their expedition organisers and to government officials stationed at Everest base camp, Mr Dhakal said.

“In order to provide a certificate to the climber, we rely on their photograph on top of Mount Everest… If someone fakes their photos, it’s hard to determine that they are not original,” he said.

“If proven guilty, we will invalidate the Indian couple’s certificate and charge them with forgery and fraud.”

The probe began on Sunday evening, he said.

It is not technically an offence to pretend to summit Everest, but authorities are investigating the couple for fraud after eight other climbers filed a complaint against them in India, saying such a con belittles the efforts of genuine mountaineers.

Many successful summiteers have gone on to make money or forge careers as motivational speakers and authors on the back of their feat.

A total of 456 people, including more than 250 foreigners, summited Everest during the recently-concluded spring season after two consecutive years of deadly disasters that led to almost all attempts being abandoned.

Mountaineering is a major revenue-earner for the impoverished Himalayan nation and this year’s string of successful summits is expected to boost the industry, which was left reeling after an earthquake last year killed almost 9,000 people nationwide.

Hundreds fled Everest last year after an earthquake-triggered avalanche at base camp killed 18 people.

Only one climber reached the top in 2014 after an avalanche killed 16 Nepali guides that year.

via AFP

The Spanish doctor with a surgery on Mount Everest

Mónica Piris has been working since 2007 to help climbers injured trying to scale the world’s highest peak.

She looks as though she’s waiting behind the lines to pick up the pieces in a war zone. In fact, Spanish doctor Mónica Piris is on hand at a base camp to treat the war wounds of climbers battling Mount Everest. She has been here for the past month and, in that time, more than 400 people have reached the summit, though it hasn’t all been victory. Five died this year and a large number had to be rescued due to exhaustion, blindness, pulmonary edema and frostbite.

“There have been a huge number of frostbite cases on the south face this year,” says Piris. “Last month, there were almost 200 people trying to reach the summit from that side. A lot of them spent up to 20 hours on the mountain in bad weather and many suffered frostbite and needed to be evacuated by helicopter from camp II.”

Born in Oxford to Spanish parents and fiercely proud of her Spanish identity, Piris started working at high altitude on Everest in 2007 and later that year on another of the world’s highest peaks, Cho Oyu. Since then she has set up her clinic every autumn on Manaslu (8,163 m), Makalu (8485m) and Ama Dablam (6,812m). In total, she spends between four and five months a year at the base camp of some of the world’s tallest mountains. The Tibetan Everest base camp, however, is proving a challenge.

Zombie camp

“The Everest base camp in Nepal is at 5,300 meters. It’s high but you can live reasonably well there,” says Mönica. “But the Everest Advanced Base camp, on the Tibetan side, is at 6,400m.”

It’s also known as the zombie camp, because it feels abandoned and lifeless. “In the morning when the sun is out, you sometimes see someone outside but after 1pm hardly anyone leaves their tent or the dining tent. This year, the weather is even more unpleasant than usual. We have been in a bad weather cycle for 10 days – the sky gets cloudy and it starts to snow and it gets colder and more humid.”

At altitudes of 5,500m or 6,000m, almost everybody goes into physical and mental decline

Here, the only brake on physical deterioration is the determination of those aspiring to reach the roof of the world. “At altitudes of 5,500m or 6,000m, almost everybody goes into physical and mental decline,” says Mónica. “You lose your appetite, you lose weight, you lose the desire to do anything and you can’t sleep deeply like you can at sea level. Your skin, lips, nose, throat and lungs go dry. You get sores on your mouth and your fingers. You lose the level of physical fitness you attained in the run-up to the expedition. Personally after a season at ABC (Advanced Base Camp), I always feel weak and ugly,” she laughs, before adding that the deterioration accelerates at 7,000m and beyond. “Unforeseen exposure can happen when there’s an accident or when you are surprised by bad weather: frostbite sets in fast, then hypothermia, brain damage and finally death,” she says.

Mónica Piris currently works for Alpenglow, a company that offers guided expeditions up some of the most challenging mountains in the Himalayas. The company is among the more expensive players, but there are plenty to choose from, says Piris out. “For €15,000, you get the permit and basic base camp facilities, including a cook,” she explains. “That’s it. Those who pay €100,000 get a maximum support team, including a private UIAGM-certified guide, one or two sherpas per person – well-paid and totally insured, a base camp equipped with Internet, heaters, imported food, medical aid, unlimited oxygen and helicopter transfer to the base camp. These are the two extremes: then you have everything in between.”

It might sound like a cliché, but the fact is that many climbers on Everest need to be guided, supported and sometimes even pushed to the top. The surprising lack of independence among them explains the number of companies working this market niche. Of course, the need for bottled oxygen makes the companies practically indispensable. “In Alpenglow, the clients climbing Everest’s North face start oxygen at 7,000 m,” says Piris. “Before they go for the summit, they do acclimatize with several nights at 7,000 meters on the North Ridge. But there are groups climbing Everest from the south that start oxygen at 6,400 meters, when they leave camp II. I have even seen climbers using oxygen as soon as they leave base camp but that’s not common.

In total, Mónica Piris spends between four and five months a year at the base camp of some of the world’s tallest mountains

Bottled oxygen is the star of Doctor Piris’ medical supply kit, but she has a wide variety of ailments to treat. “Altitude sickness is common,” she says. “Swelling in the brain and the lungs are less frequent but they always appear sooner or later. And then there are problems unrelated to altitude, such as colds, respiratory or gastric infections. At least once an expedition, I treat someone with something more serious, such as acute abdominal pain, angina or a mini-stroke. Complaints triggered by the climate are not serious but they are very uncomfortable and often mean a number of consultations, like a dry cough, blocked nose, cracked finger tips. Then there are the injuries from rock falls, common on the Lhotese face of Everest, ice falls more frequent on the south side of Everest and avalanches that are a feature of Manaslu.”

Weeks before each expedition, Piris compiles a list of medicines that will cover not only clients but also guides, sherpas, cooks and herself. It is also her job to ensure each camp on the mountain has a complete first-aid kit.

Daily life at base camp

The prospect of being stationed at base camp over a period of time is a daunting one. Not only does the team there deal with oxygen deficiency, freezing temperatures, and rudimentary sleeping conditions, but they have to contend with mind-numbing boredom. To keep her busy when the clients, guides and sherpas are further up the mountain, Piris mans the radio, noting down schedules, weather conditions and what other people on the mountain are saying.

When clients are trying for the summit itself, which can take up to five days, she is on radio duty around the clock. This last push for the summit is a tense and uncertain time for Piris, when she must be prepared for any medical contingency. “I am constantly documenting the progress of our climbers, the time they’re taking, the oxygen that is left to them etc. It’s very intense. I have to become the coordinator. When the groups are up at high altitude, it is very important to document everything and have ideas and schedules very clear.”

But although she tries to stay one step ahead to prevent disaster, she recognizes that she can’t anticipate everything. “In 2012, one of the sherpas working for us suddenly collapsed coming down from camp I to base camp,” she recalls.

It is a stressful business and not a job for all seasons. In the summer, Mónica lives in Beranga in northern Spain, and spends her winters in Chamonix with German climber David Goettler, whose reputation in the Himalayas is well-known in mountaineering circles. And once a month she works in a hospital in Oxford.

Would the climbers she meets in the Himalayas pass the kind of doping test they do on cyclists? “Some would and some wouldn’t,” she smiles.

Source The Spanish

Italian mountaineer dies in skiing accident in GB

italian skiier

ISLAMABAD: An Italian mountaineer died during a skiing accident in the Gilgit-Baltistan region as he attem­pted to descend a 6,000-metre peak, the Alpine Club of Pakistan said on Saturday.

“Leonardo Comelli, 27, an Italian alpinist, lost his life on Thursday while making a ski descent from the 6,096-metre-high Laila Peak,” Karrar Haideri, spokesman for the Alpine Club of Pakistan said.

The alpinist had been a me­mber of a four-person team that arrived in Pakistan in late May to summit the peak but were forced this week to retreat just 150 me­tres below the top due to bad weather, according to the club.

Mr Haideri said the team then began the first attempt to ski down Laila Peak when Mr Comelli crossed his skis and lost his balance, falling 400 metres down rugged terrain to his death. The other three members of the team were safely able to retrieve the body and ski down the mountain. Accor­ding to the Alpine Club, Mr Comelli started rock climbing at 16 and was also a photographer.

Northern Pakistan is a magnet for mountaineers and is home to some of the tallest mountains in the world, inc­luding K2 — at 8,611 metres, the world’s second highest peak, but often deemed a more challenging climb than the highest, Mount Everest.

Nestled between the western end of the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush mountains and the Karakoram range, Gilgit-Baltistan houses 18 of the world’s 50 highest peaks.

It is also home to three of the world’s seven longest glaciers outside the polar regi­ons. Hundreds of its mountains have never been climbed.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2016

Climber Melissa Arnot Talks About Her History-Making Everest Ascent

On May 23 Melissa Arnot became the first American woman to successfully summit the world’s tallest mountain without supplemental oxygen. It was one of the last major prizes on the 29,035-foot peak, and Arnot — who has five previous Everest summits with oxygen — had been working toward the goal for nearly a decade. On one of her first attempts, in 2010, she broke a small bone in her leg while trekking to Base Camp. In 2013, Arnot was high on the mountain, climbing “without Os,” when she and her climbing partner, Tshering Dorje Sherpa, abandoned their attempt after providing aid to an unresponsive Sherpa.

“I think 2010 stands out the most to me in terms of disappointment,” she says. “In 2013 I was really close without oxygen, but we stopped to help somebody and that means a lot to me. But in 2010, I started using oxygen at the South Col, at 8,000 meters, because I wasn’t climbing fast enough. That was totally devastating.”

Arnot was on the mountain the last two season as well, but the peak was essentially shut down after tragedy struck both times — first in 2014 with an avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa, then the 2015 earthquake that decimated Nepal. This time around Arnot headed to Tibet to attempt the Northeast Ridge route, rather than the standard side South Col climb, with her boyfriend and climber partner Tyler Reid. During the lead-up to the climb, Arnot eschewed media attention in favor of focusing on the expedition, leaving many people wondering what her plans were. Additionally, while at Base Camp, she was essentially radio silent, an unusual tact for a sponsored athlete. (Fellow Eddie Bauer athlete Cory Richards, who also summitted this year without oxygen, was Snapchatting his entire climb.) But the focus paid off when she reached the summit at noon.

“To have had that disappointment and that taste in your mouth, and then to be able to succeed…” she says, “It feels amazing. I mean, honestly, it’s still reverberating through me. I’m still like, ‘Oh my god, we are down. We are safe. We did it.’ ”

With all of the tragedy and disappointment, what was it like at the summit?

You can’t believe it is actually happening but, also, you’re terrified. You are on the summit. You are as high as you can be without oxygen. You’re in the absolute, most dangerous spot possible, and you still have to get all the way down. So, I was very emotional at the summit, but I was also completely terrified, knowing we had to get down safely.

So at what point did it hit you?

I mean, honestly, I am still not sure I’m totally feeling it. Even at Base Camp I was worried, because on the North Side there is an advanced base camp that is really high. It’s about 21,000 feet, and from there down to Base Camp, you have to hike through this glacier. I just kept thinking, “I have to continue holding it together, because if I get sick tonight at advanced base camp, and I need to take oxygen, then this whole thing is irrelevant. This whole thing is done.” Then you get down to base camp and you drive for two days to Lhasa, and I just kept thinking the whole time, “Am I safe? Is it good now?” It has been this real process of getting out.

Why the secrecy this year?

I just decided that I wanted to do it as low-key as possible. Normally I have to fundraise, and I am working with media and sponsors. I really wanted to just focus on the objective. So I went to Nepal in the middle of March and I was guiding. I was actually guiding a 13-year-old girl for five weeks, and I sort of used her to help me acclimatize. We climbed three 20,000-foot peaks, and then she went home. I flew to Tibet. I did a bunch of cagey answering to people who asked if I was going to Everest. It had kind of had leaked out amongst the climbing community that I was going to climb, but it still felt really good to show up on the north side and sort of be like, “Surprise! I’m here.” At that I shut down all my social media. So it was a little bit of a ninja expedition.

This year, was there ever a point where at which you thought it might not happen?

There were numerous times that I was afraid we were going to turn around, because my body was getting too cold. Not frostbite, but just physically feeling very cold. Then your awareness becomes much less sharp. I wouldn’t want to do it without a partner who had oxygen. I think that that was, for me, something that felt really important. He was my safety and my backup in case I started having issues, because you can flip really easily into having problems without noticing what is happening.

What was the summit push like?

For us it was a very continuous climb. We climbed from a camp at 7,600 meters to that high camp at 8,300 meters. So that was a huge, long day. We probably climbed for nine hours that day, just really slowly, and we planned it strategically to roll into camp at 6 o’clock at night. We rested and then, right at 10, started climbing again. It was actually a very busy day. We were stuck behind slower people, and I couldn’t pass them. I couldn’t physically go fast enough to pass them, but I needed to go faster than they were going. So we had some huge challenges. But we left at 10 at night and we summited at 12 noon the next day. Our plan was to actually get very low that night, but we couldn’t make it back that low because of the people descending. Again we ended up stuck just sitting for almost three hours on the descent, and that was really scary. It was really, really hard for me, because I just knew time was working against me. I kept thinking, “I have to get down low or I will need oxygen. I can’t sleep this high and be okay.” We ended up sitting awake at the 8,300-meter camp in a tent. We just ducked in and waited for first light, then continued descending. It ended up being a 50-hour event for us of just continuous movement.

Sounds grueling.

I probably lost 15 pounds. It was really crazy, and it wasn’t until the summit push that I lost all that weight. I mean I probably lost 5 pounds throughout the season, which is kind of a lot for my frame, but during the summit push I feel like all of my muscles just went away. Everything that needed oxygen just collapsed in on itself. When we got back to the U.S., I felt so weak that I couldn’t even really stand up for long periods of time, which sounds ridiculous. I would have too lean against a wall or something.

Why was this record so important to you?

My whole thing about doing this was that I am incredible average athletically. I don’t have any special advantage. I haven’t ever been super elite at anything, and my question about trying to do this was, “If I can do this, that really means that the average person can do this.” Not that I think they should, but that was my curiosity. You don’t have to be exceptional to be able to do this. You have to have exceptional perseverance, and you really have to have a lot of luck. For me, it took seven years for that all to line up, and it finally did. I just feel really proud that I was able to accomplish it.

Will you go back to Everest?

I think my personal goals with Everest have been filled. I am of course interested in guiding there, because it’s great when guides who have experience go back. That’s what makes the mountain better. But I am probably not climbing it personally again. I feel really good about that. I feel like I’ve accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. It feels nice to close the book.

via Mens Journal

Footless Ecuadoran mountaineer to climb K2

climberAn Ecuadoran who lost both his feet is aiming to become the first climber to scale the world’s toughest mountain, K2, with artificial limbs and without oxygen supplies.

Santiago Quintero had half of each foot amputated for frostbite after climbing Aconcagua in Argentina in 2002. But that has not stopped him.

“They told me I would never climb 5,000-meter mountains again,” the smiling 41-year-old told media.

“But no one can tell me how I am and what I am. Being what I want to be is my decision.”

Quintero scaled Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet), in 2013. The expedition landed him in the hospital in intensive care.

Now he is aiming to conquer K2 — the second-highest mountain at 8,611 meters, but considered technically the hardest to climb.

He ascended K2, which is on the border between China and Pakistan, once before but stopped short of the summit. His party had to turn back when they sank up to their chests in snow.

He says he caught frostbite on Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, because he could not afford a $100 pair of waterproof covers for his boots.

He spent nine months in the hospital in Spain, where doctors performed the amputations, then a further five years waiting to have prosthetic feet fitted.

With those artificial members, he has already scaled seven of the 14 mountains in the world that are over 8,000 meters high.

In total 188 mountaineers have scaled K2.

“They did it with their bodies fully intact,” said Quintero. “That’s quite different.”

He plans to start his hike up K2 on June 13 and finish on July 31.

“I am quite determined,” he told media, while resting during a training climb on the extinct Ilalo volcano in northern Ecuador.

“Without the mountains, I think I would rather be dead.”

via Pakistan Today

Body of Maria Strydom who died on Everest has been recovered

 

  • Maria Strydom died from altitude sickness on Mount Everest on Saturday
  • She became fatigued when she was nearing the summit and turned around
  • Her husband continued on and conquered the mountain 
  • Dr Strydom’s condition had rapidly deteriorated and she died shortly after  
  • Her body has been airlifted from the mountain to Kathmandu  
  • Robert Gropel described his wife as an inspiration and ‘the perfect person’
  • He said his focus is ‘trying to get the job done of bringing my wife home’ 

The husband of an Australian woman who died on Mount Everest kept climbing after she decided to turn around due to fatigue – but her condition rapidly deteriorated as she climbed down.

Maria Strydom, 34, and her husband Robert Gropel began their summit bid on Friday night in clear weather, but at the South Summit at nearly 8,000 metres, Dr Strydom slowed and decided not to continue.

Her husband continued the journey and reached the peak of the mountain with the rest of the group.

‘When I made it to the summit of Everest, it wasn’t special because I didn’t have her there,’ Dr Gropel said, Yahoo News reported.

The body of Australian climber Maria Strydom, left, has been recovered from Mount Everest a week after she died on the mountain as her husband, Robert Gropel, right, reveals his heartache

Dr Strydom's husband, Robert Gropel, who was in her team and also suffered altitude sickness, was airlifted to Kathmandu early this week

The next time he saw his wife, her health had deteriorated and she had become severely ill with altitude sickness.

With medication and more oxygen brought up by sherpas, Strydom improved and was making her way down. She then suddenly collapsed and could not be revived.

Arnold Coster, owner of Arnold Coster Expeditions, which was heavily involved in the tragic climb, said the entire team reached the summit except Dr Strydom.

‘On 19 May the whole team left the South Col and everybody summited the next day, except Marisa who decided to turn around just above the the South Summit at 8am in the morning, due to fatigue,’ Mr Coster said.

‘Marisa was doing well until the ‘Balcony’, but became very slow after this and decided to turn around.

‘Normally this would give her enough time to descent safely, but her condition deteriorated rapidly.’

Dr Strydom’s body was recovered from Mount Everest and taken to the Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Friday.

Maria Strydom’s heartbroken husband opens up on Sunday Night

Dr Gropel said he was struggling to come to terms with his wife’s sudden death.

‘I still can’t look at any pictures of her because it just breaks my heart,’ he told Sunday Night in an episode due to be aired on Sunday.

Dr Gropel said he hadn’t thought about anything but retrieving his wife’s body from the mountain.

‘I’m just trying to be strong, I’m learning to cope and block out what causes sort of, breakdowns, and trying to get the job done of bringing my wife home,’ he told the ABC.

‘All I am thinking is I want to get her home.’

Dr Maria Strydom died on Saturday while trying to reach the summit of Mount Everest after succumbing to altitude sickness 

'It was a superhuman effort, she was without oxygen for 20 hours ... because of the length of time it took her, and took us to get her down, and it ran out,' Dr Gropel (pictured) said 

The veterinarian (pictured) is 'very determined' to bring his wife's remains back to her family in Australia

via Daily Mail

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