Missing German climber’s body found near Kanchenjunga in Nepal

Luis Stitzinger reached the world’s third-highest peak without supplemental oxygen, but went missing during descent.

Mount Kanchenjunga
Nepal is home to eight of the world's 10 highest peaks [File: Desmond Boylan/Reuters]

The body of a German mountaineer has been found on Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain, expedition organisers said, days after he went missing during his descent from the summit.

A search team of five Nepali guides found Luis Stitzinger’s body just below the peak at about 8,400 metres (27,600 feet) on Tuesday, Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks told the AFP news agency.

“They are bringing his body down,” Sherpa said on Wednesday.

The 54-year-old had reached the summit of the 8,586-metre-tall (28,169 feet) Himalayan mountain on May 25 without supplemental oxygen but then lost contact.

Rescue efforts had earlier been hampered by weather conditions.

No-oxygen climber

According to the mountaineering website ExplorersWeb, Stitzinger had arranged for fellow mountaineer Flor Cuenca of Peru, who had summited ahead of him, to wait for him.

“I crossed paths with Luis as I was on my way back from the top and he was still going up. He gave me instructions to wait for him at Camp 4 and keep in touch on the radio,” Cuenca was quoted as saying by ExplorersWeb.

An experienced mountaineer and guide, Stitzinger had previously summited several other mountains higher than 8,000 metres.

Stitzinger had been among Germany’s leading mountaineers and was known for successfully climbing many mountains without bottled oxygen.

Deadly year for mountaineers

Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks and welcomes hundreds of adventurers each spring, when temperatures are mild and Himalayan winds are typically calm.

Nepal issued more than 1,000 permits for its mountains this season, including 44 for Kanchenjunga, and hundreds have reached summits as the season draws to a close.

On Everest, 12 people have been confirmed dead and five others are missing, putting 2023 on course to be a record year for deaths.

Last month, 56-year-old climber Noel Hanna of Ireland died on Annapurna, the world’s 10th-highest mountain.

Source: News Agencies