April 18, 2023: At least five climbers have been evacuated from the high camps of Mt Annapurna after experiencing mountain illness while descending from the world’s tenth-highest peak. Among those evacuated were Pakistani climbers Shehroze Kashif and Naila Kiani, Indian climber Arjun Vajpai, and Nepal Army Captain Suman Panday. Panday, who suffered from snow blindness at Camp III, had scaled Annapurna yesterday as the leader of the Annapurna clean-up expedition.

In addition, the body of Irish climber Noel Hanna was also brought down to Kathmandu from Camp IV. Hanna, a 10-time Everest summiteer from Northern Ireland, passed away at Camp IV after returning from the summit point last night.

However, there was some positive news amidst the ongoing rescue operations. Indian woman climber Baljeet Kaur, who had gone missing above Camp IV on Mt Annapurna, has been rescued alive from 7,363m. “She has suffered from frostbite and is now being rushed to CIWEC Hospital from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu,” said Pasang Sherpa, Chairman at Pioneer Adventure.

A team of five Sherpa climbers has been conducting a ground search for missing climber Anurag Maloo. “Sherpa climbers are now trying to locate Anurag, who went missing after he fell down from around 6,000m into a deep crevasse while descending from Camp III yesterday,” said Sherpa, adding that an aerial search was also conducted yesterday to trace the climber.

Various helicopter companies, including Altitude Air, Kailash Helicopter, Heli Everest, and Simirik Helicopter, were used for search and rescue missions, according to the Department of Tourism. Climbers who were evacuated are being taken to different medical facilities, including CIWEC, Grande, and Era Hospital.

This incident serves as a reminder of the dangers that come with climbing high-altitude peaks like Mt Annapurna. While the experience can be exhilarating and rewarding, it’s crucial to take all necessary precautions and have proper medical support in place to ensure the safety of all climbers involved.

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