Updated: 19 Time Everest Summiter Feared Lost
Update: According to Jeeban Ghimire, director of Sherpa Shangri-La Treks, which organized the expedition, the search has been called off. After a six hour aerial survey, the search team deemed it unlikely he would have survived given the rough icy terrain where the avalanche occurred.
Various reports say that Nima was fixing ropes for another team 300 feet from the summit. His own team of six British climbers, one American and several Sherpas were unhurt. American guide Melissa Arnot was part of the team.
Nima was hoping to pass Everest legend Apa Sherpa's 20 Everest summits in 2011. Nima leaves his wife and two daughters. I know members from his 2010 AAI Everest team are sending donations to his family.
Original Post: I received an email today from Ang Tshering Sherpa, Chairman of Asian Trekking with this tragic news:
I have received the very sad news that Chhewang Nima Sherpa, 19 Time Everest Summiter, was caught in an avalanche on Mt. Baruntse(7129m) on 23rd Oct. I have been informed that the Avalanche occurred at 4:30 Pm at an altitude of 7045m.
The search for Chhewang Nima is still ongoing and I can only pray that he is still alive. Tomorrow, on 25th October, a helicopter search party will be dispatched to the area, accompanied by his family members.
Chhewang Nima was climbing with "Adventure Trip Baruntse Expedition Autumn 2010" under the management of Sherpa Shangrila Treks(P) ltd.
Ang Tshering Sherpa
Chhewang Nima last guided Everest with Alpine Ascents International (AAI) this past spring season. My deepest hopes he will be found alive and I will update this post as reliable information becomes available.