Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

Boxedwidth

Display Trending Posts

Display Instagram Footer

yes

Dark or Light Style

Stuck at 18,000 feet, mountaineers from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh cry for help


Stuck at 18,000 feet, mountaineers from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh cry for help
HYDERABAD: Stranded at 17,598 feet above sea level for five consecutive days, 20 mountaineers from the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are now desperately calling out for help. The team that took off on this hazardous expedition of Mt Everest from Hyderabad on April 16 was forced to cut short the climb and take shelter at the base camp, after the devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25.

Ever since, this adventurous pack has been struggling to stay alive and get home safely. So far, they rue, no help has come their way either from the Indian or the Chinese government.

"We are currently lodged on the northern face of the mountain that falls under Chinese territory. Our fate, therefore, is in the hands of Chinese authorities who, we are told, are planning to drive us down to Lhasa or Chengdu -- the nearest airbases. Till there is some clarity on the matter, we are stranded here," shared team leader Shekhar Babu, while speaking to TOI from the base camp.

His cry for urgent help from the authorities was heart-wrenching. "Can you please assist us so that we can seek help from Indian authorities, in Nepal or China," he messaged TOI later.

With most primary sources of communication dead, these climbers are now holding onto a weak Chinese network and a satellite phone at the base camp to stay connected with their people. Uncertainty over when help would arrive has only made matters worse.

"All the roads have been closed. Even if we make it down to Kathmandu it wouldn't help as the airport is not taking any inbound passengers. We have to go either to Beijing or Shanghai to fly back to India," Babu, recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, rued pointing out how the closure of roads leading to the mountain has also made it tough for officials to drive down to the camp. "That would only happen once the tremors stop," he added.




But even while battling their woes, the mountaineers cannot stop recounting the horrific moments soon after the gigantic calamity hit them. "There was a huge avalanche that covered everything in snow for as far as they could see. Now, there are avalanches happening every other hour. We fear that there might be some structural changes in the mountain's geography, thus making our trek down even more risky," Babu, who hails from Nalgonda in Telangana, said.

The team, which consists of climbers as young as 26, went on this trip organized by Transcend Adventures.

"There was widespread panic among climbers after the first few tremors. I was sitting in the chair in our tent when I first felt it. I thought there might have been some problem with the spring. But when the curiosity grew, I realised it was an earthquake. When I stepped out of the tent I saw a huge rock crumble on a ridge beside the base camp. Once it stopped, I called up the Advanced Base Camp (ABC) and when they said it was an earthquake, my worst fears had come true," the seasoned mountaineer recounted. The anxiety in his voice was hard to miss. And that, he confessed, was largely because for the grief-stricken condition of the accompanying Sherpas, who Babu said were crestfallen on hearing about the quake.

At present, the only hope for the team is the sufficient stock of supplies that its members carried for the 60-day trek. But that too, they fear, might run dry if help does not reach them soon enough.
QuickEdit

You Might Also Like

No comments

Post a Comment

Follow @MyInstantSearch