Kathmandu - Rescuers
searching for two Indian climbers missing on Mount Everest said on Tuesday
there was little hope of finding the pair alive after losing contact
with them over the weekend.
The two men - identified by the Indian embassy as Paresh Nath and
Goutam Ghosh - were near the summit of the 8 848-metre
mountain on Saturday when they lost contact with the rest of their team.
The missing climbers were part of a team of four, one of whom -
Subhash Pal - died after falling ill on Sunday. The fourth team member,
a woman, was rescued and taken to hospital.
"We are trying to locate them and pray they are okay, but they were
very high up and it has been over two days. It is difficult to keep hope
alive," Wangchu Sherpa of Trekking Camp Nepal told AFP.
Three officials from India have arrived in Kathmandu to co-ordinate
searches and another mountain rescue team will be deployed on Wednesday,
Subhash Pal was the third mountaineer to die on Everest in recent
days after an Australian and a Dutch climber succumbed to altitude
As climbers ascend above 8 000 metres, they enter the "death zone" -
notorious for its difficult terrain and thin air - where oxygen
supplies fall to dangerously low levels and make mountaineers
susceptible to altitude sickness.
More than 350 climbers including 140 foreigners have summitted
Everest this season after two consecutive years of deadly disasters that
led to almost all attempts being abandoned.
US climber Melissa Arnot on Monday became the first American woman to
successfully summit and descend Everest without using extra oxygen.
"Climbing Everest without supplemental oxygen has been a goal of mine
for a long time... I'm incredibly fortunate," Arnot said in a
Since the first summit of the world's highest peak in 1953 more than
300 people have died on Everest and neighbouring Lhotse, which share the
same route until Camp 3 at 7 200 metres.
Despite the risks and recent disasters, Everest's allure remains
undimmed, with Nepal issuing 289 permits to foreigners for this year's
spring climbing season.
Hundreds of climbers 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.
Mountaineering is a major revenue-earner for impoverished Nepal. But
last year's earthquake, which killed almost 9 000 people, threatened the
future of the Himalayan nation's climbing and trekking industry.