Indian woman climber dies in avalanche on world’s third highest peak

Published: May 22, 2014
Chhanda Gayen

Chhanda Gayen negotiating a crevasse near Khumbu Icefalls. Wikimedia Commons

VANCOUVER DESI

Avalanche-mount Kanchenjunga

Chhanda Gayen. Wikimedia Commons

The first Indian woman to climb Mount Kanchenjunga was swept away in an avalanche while attempting another peak on the same range Tuesday evening, according to the Hindustan Times.

Chhanda Gayen, 35, who was the first civilian woman from West Bengal to scale Mount Everest last year, summited Kanchenjunga – the third highest peak in the world – on May 18. Gayen, along with two sherpas — Dewa Wangchu and Migma Temba – went on to climb the Yalung Kang on Tuesday, when they were reportedly caught in an avalanche.

Nepal police confirmed Thursday that Gayen and the sherpa guides died, reported the Hindustan Times.

“The weather deteriorated while the climbers were at 7,300 metres. They were caught in incessant snowfall and got buried,” inspector Krishna Dev Chaudhary of Sankhuwasabha district told the Republica Daily.

Gayen left home last month for the expedition to mark the first anniversary of her Everest climb, according to the Times of India. Her family later learned from fellow climbers that she had become the first Indian woman to scale Kanchenjunga.

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