Briton missing after falling in rock slide on Everest

Daniel Paul Paterson, 40, from Northern Ireland, fell along with a Sherpa climber on Everest
Daniel Paul Paterson, 40, from Northern Ireland, fell along with a Sherpa climber on Everest

A British climber is missing after falling in a rock slide while returning from the summit of Mount Everest.

He fell along with a Sherpa climber as they descended a near-vertical section of the route near the top of the mountain, the expedition company said.

A break in the rock triggered the fall, sources said.

Daniel Paul Paterson, 40, from Northern Ireland fell alongside Pas Tenji Sherpa, 23, from Makalu, Sankhuwasabha, in Nepal. They were part of 8K Expeditions.

A five-member team was deployed to save other climbers caught in the rock slide.

“Three other climbers were rescued but Peterson and Pas Tenji fell towards the Tibetan range where rescue is impossible,” a witness said.

He added: “We mobilised six sherpa for rescue, but could not retrieve them. They were swept away by the rock towards the Tibetan range.”

Paterson was described as a fit and experienced climber.

“This was his first summit with us,” Pemba Sherpa, 8K Expedition manager, said.

“He was aware about everything about climbing and the challenges. He was physically fit. It’s a natural disaster. Who knows what will happen in the mountains? They are unpredictable.”

“We don’t know [his location]. It’s a steep slope and they are gone. We have called off the search operation,” he said.

Two Mongolian climbers – Usukhjargal Tsedendamba and Prevsuren Lkhagvajav – had died while descending from the summit point on May 13.

Rajendra Bajgain, a Nepal Congress parliamentarian. attributed the accidents to climate change.

“Glaciers are melting because of rising temperature and the stable ice is breaking. There were five climbers on the ice and a part of it collapsed and the two climbers were swept away,” Mr Bajgain said.

The climbers fell towards the Tibetan part of Everest and it is not possible to press in helicopters without the approval of China, he said.

It came as a 54-year-old Nepali climber known as “Everest Man” reached the peak of the world’s highest mountain for a record 30th time on Wednesday, three decades after his first summit.

Kami Rita Sherpa, who broke his own record after climbing the 8,849-metre (29,032-foot) peak for the 29th time earlier this month, has previously said that he was “just working” and did not plan on setting records.

“Kami Rita reached the summit this morning. Now he has made a new record with 30 summits of Everest,” Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks, his expedition organiser, said.

Sherpa first stood on the top of Mount Everest in 1994 when working for a commercial expedition.

Since then he has climbed Everest almost every year, guiding clients.