British Everest climber and Sherpa go missing after 'ice fall sweeps them off the mountain'

22 May 2024, 15:05

Daniel Paul Paterson
Daniel Paul Paterson. Picture: Instagram

By Kit Heren

A British climber on Mount Everest has gone missing after an ice storm hit him and his guide while they were coming down from the summit.

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Daniel Paul Paterson, a 40-year-old personal trainer from Wakefield, and his guide Pas Tenji Sherpa have not been heard from since early on Tuesday morning local time, when they reached the top of the mountain, an official said.

They were hit by a wall of ice as they went down the Hillary Step, which is a sheer expanse of rock just below the peak.

Mr Paterson and his guide were part of a team of 15 climbers led by Bolivian climber David Hugo Ayaviri Quispe, with the company 8K Expeditions.

A Sherpa spokesperson for the company said: "Two of our brave team members, Mr. Daniel Paul Paterson (UK) and Mr. Pastenji Sherpa (Nepal), are missing.

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"Eyewitnesses reported the incident took place between Summit Ridge and South Summit and some climbers were swept away in Kangshung Face".

Three climbers were rescued after being hit by the ice, but exact number of people who are missing is still yet to be confirmed.

The company added that rescuers were searching for Mr Paterson and Pas Tenji Sherpa.

"They are working tirelessly to locate our missing climbers," they said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this challenging time."

Daniel Paul Paterson
Daniel Paul Paterson. Picture: Instagram

Mr Paterson went to Everest as part of a fundraiser for the family of Jenni Muston, a member of his gym who died of cancer in January.

He has posted several photos of himself in the Himalayas, including one with the caption: "waiting impatiently for a summit window".

He also wrote approvingly about Everest base camp, calling it "a logistical base camp" and "literally a mini city at 5,364m high".

"Porters, Mules, yaks and Helicopters bring everything to this city of tents that caters for everyone staying here," he added.

Daniel Paul Paterson
Daniel Paul Paterson. Picture: Instagram

Mr Paterson and Pas Tenji Sherpa's disappearance comes less than two weeks after two Mongolian climbers died on Everest.

Usukhjargal Tsedendamba, 53, and Purevsuren Lkhagvajav, 31, went missing after climbing without the help of guides. They had reached the summit before disappearing, and their bodies were both found at separate heights above 8,000 metres.

Everest has become overcrowded in recent years, with some experienced climbers warning that having so many people on the mountain was contributing to rising numbers of deaths.

Some 18 people died last year, the worst year in history. Around 330 people have died overall since 1922.

Nepalese authorities have tried to stem the tide of deaths by restricting the number of permits offered this year.

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