It’s been six days since 28-year-old Saint Htet fell some 600 meters to her presumed death on Mount Phangran (or Phangran Razi) in Kachin State, where her companions, unable to mount a rescue, were forced to leave her.
The young Burmese woman was part of a group of 21 trekkers and three guides who made their way to the peak, one of Myanmar’s highest, in a journey that began on April 6, according to a now-viral Facebook post published yesterday by co-organizer Zaw Khine.
Zaw Khine said the group began their trek from the town of Putao. After one member remained behind at a camp due to health complications, the remaining 23 continued on, reaching the summit on April 12, where they planted the Myanmar flag, a first-ever accomplishment.
In the last picture of the group posted, a masked climber identified as Saint Htet can be seen posing with and holding the flag.
6.4.2019 ပူတာအိုကစထြက္ခဲ့တဲ့ ဖန္ဂရန္ရာဇီေရခဲေတာင္ခရီးစဥ္မွာThe Summiter အဖြဲ႕ဝင္ေတြရဲ႕စိတ္ဓာတ္၊ဇြဲ၊လံု့လ၊ဝီရိယ…
The tragedy occurred only 10 minutes after they began their descent, when Saint Htet slipped and fell an estimated 600 meters from the side of a cliff.
According to Zaw Khine, the weather and lack of proper equipment meant the group was unable to mount a recovery mission and were forced to give up on retrieving Saint Htet.
Since the Facebook post went up yesterday, there has been an outpouring of condolences for the young trekker, who was an outdoor adventure enthusiast. The post had been shared more than 1,300 times as of this article’s publishing.
To this point, there has been no word on whether a mission to recover her body will be attempted. We’ve reached out to both Zaw Khine and the Yangon Hiking and Mountaineering Association, which at times coordinates with the Myanmar military, and will update this story with further details as we get them.