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Man who climbed Mt Everest 19 times goes missing

October 25, 2010 15:22 IST

Chhewang Nima, a Nepalese Sherpa famous in mountaineering circles for climbing the Mount Everest 19 times, has gone missing after being struck by an avalanche while nearing the peak of Mount Baruntse in Nepal.

Chhewang was leading an expedition of seven people when he went missing on Saturday, said Sherpa Shangri-la Treks and Expedition, the company for which he worked.

He was fixing ropes at an elevation of 7,045 metres while guiding the expedition, trying to reach the 7,129-metre peak.

The other climbers searched for Chhewang after the accident, but were unable to find him, the BBC reports.

Jiban Ghimire, of the Sherpa Shangri-la Treks and Expedition, said that it was possible that because of Chhewang's skills and experience, he may still be alive.

"He's a good climber, he knows how to survive," Ghimire said.

He also said that the poor weather conditions have prevented rescue missions from being launched.

A helicopter was dispatched to look for the missing climber on Sunday morning, but had to return because of bad weather.

Chhewang is just one climb short of the record set by fellow Nepalese Sherpa Apa, who holds the record for summiting Everest with 20 climbs.

Everest is the world's highest mountain above sea level, at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet).

Source: ANI