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Avid woman mountaineer perishes in Nepal avalanche

April 28, 2015 15:56 IST

Her passion for mountaineering knew no bounds but it ended in a tragedy when she perished in the avalanche triggered by the earthquake in Nepal during her maiden attempt to scale Mount Everest.

Renu Fotedar, 49, who hailed from Srinagar and was settled in Australia, was among several mountaineers consumed by the killer avalanche.

Like many Kashmiri pandit migrants, Renu's journey from the Valley took her to Delhi before she migrated to Australia after her marriage.

A lover of adventure sports, Renu had climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last year before embarking on her ambitious plan to conquer the world's highest peak – Mt Everest.

Known to be chirpy among her circle of friends, Renu posted her last picture on Facebook along with her Japanese friends as she set out to climb Mt Everest.

Her cousin Aashish Kaul in Mumbai today spoke about the tragedy that had befallen on the family.

Renu moved out of the Kashmir Valley after the Kashmiri pandit families migrated in the early 1990's. She stayed in Udhampur of Jammu region before shifting to Delhi for her higher studies.

Married to Lokesh Fotedar, a businessman, the family moved to Australia where they got citizenship of that country.

Her 16-year-old son Sahil posted a message to Renu's friends saying that "my mother, Renu Fotedar, set off to climb Mount Everest three weeks ago and had just reached base camp two days ago on April 24...

"On the 26th of April, we were informed that she was found under the avalanche debris. Renu Fotedar had passed away," the message said.

Renu headed for Nepal from Switzerland on April 14 and reached the base camp on April 24.

Her body was located by her husband with the help of a Sherpa in the base camp along with a Japanese woman mountaineer.

Survived by two sons, Sahil and Tushar, Renu's Facebook page was full of condolences from across the world.

"All of us kept trying to know her whereabouts and later in the evening located one of the Sherpas who accompanied her and eventually led us to her body.

"The entire group perished including her campmate-- a 50-year-old Japanese lady. Till that time all of us believed she was alive as she was always brave," Kaul said.

Renu had recently moved to Switzerland and was founder of Athena International Academy of Behavioural Sciences and Evolutionary Human skills in Switzerland.

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