Efforts made to reach a stranded Malaysian mountaineer on one of the world’s most difficult peaks, Annapurna, in Nepal were hampered last night due to poor weather.
Officials report that the 49-year-old male, named as former anesthesiologist Wui Kin Chin, made it to the mountain’s summit along with at least 31 others who reached the top that day, but failed to return to camp, located one kilometer below the 8,100-meter peak.
Climb organizers on Annapurna were made aware of the situation when the man’s guide “stumbled” into the camp late Tuesday, after the two became separated from the larger group. He was unable to share details of the Malaysian’s condition, but explained that he was not able to bring him down alone.
Wui was part of a team of 13 climbers that were being led by French national, Barobian Michel Christian. Peak officials report that they are aware of the man’s location.
Mingma Sherpa, named as chairman of the Seven Summit Treks on climbing portal Explorer’s Web, reported that Wui reached the top of Annapurna at 4:10pm local time, and has suggested that insurance bureaucracy delayed the search for the stranded climber. He added that a helicopter search will commence today, saying a search on foot is “highly impossible.”
Wui is described as a relatively experienced climber who completed the Seven Summits last spring when he successfully climbed Everest.
His last social media post tells his followers that he had reached Camp 3, following a nine-and-a-half-hour climb, and that heavy snow had set in.
Annapurna is considered a technically difficult mountain, with avalanche-prone terrain. It has a higher death rate than the famed Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak.
Spring is the most popular climbing season in the Himalayas, with hundreds flocking from around the world to seek adventure when conditions are best.
Last Octiber, nine South Koreans were killed after a snowstorm swept them off a cliff on Mount Gurja, west of Annapurna