Evacuated Indian mountaineer Baljeet Kaur has Covid; to embark on next climb after recovery

Kathmandu: Prominent Indian mountaineer Baljeet Kaur, evacuated from Mt. Annapurna has Covid-19 and is likely to be discharged in a day or two, organisers of the expedition said on Thursday.

Kaur, 27, was found alive on Tuesday, a day after she went missing near Camp IV of Mt Annapurna while descending from the summit point. An aerial search team located Kaur above Camp IV and brought her to Kathmandu.

She suffered from frostbite and was rushed to CIWEC Hospital from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

“She has suffered from frostbite,” Sherpa said.

Kaur has been admitted to CIWEC Hospital in Kathmandu for treatment.

Kaur was seen descending alone towards Camp IV by the aerial search team, according to Sherpa.

The leading Indian woman climber, who was left alone below the summit point, remained out of radio contact till this morning, the report added.

An aerial search mission was initiated on Tuesday morning only after she managed to send a radio signal asking for ‘immediate help’.

According to Sherpa, her GPS location has indicated an altitude of 7,375m (24,193ft). She climbed Mt Annapurna along with two Sherpa guides at around 5:15 pm on Monday. At least three helicopters were mobilised to trace her.

In May last year, Kaur, from Himachal Pradesh, scaled Mt Lhotse and became the first Indian climber to have climbed four 8000-meter peaks in a single season.

Indian climber Arjun Vajpayi was also rescued from 6,800 metres, Seven Summit Trek’s Expedition Director Chhawang Dawa Sherpa said.

“He has sustained injuries,” Department of Tourism Director Yubraj Khatiwada was quoted as saying in The Kathmandu Post newspaper.

Vajapi, 29, was admitted for treatment to Hams Hospital after being airlifted to Kathmandu.

He was awarded by Guinness World Records in 2022 for becoming the youngest person to climb two higher 8000ers (Mt. Everest in 2010 and Summit Lhotse in May 2011).

Vajpai has already scaled Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Kangchenjunga, Mt. Manaslu, and Cho-Oyu, making several mountaineering world records.

On Monday, Anurag Malu, a resident of Kishangarh in Rajasthan, went missing while descending from Camp III of Mt. Annapurna.

A team of five Sherpa climbers has been conducting a ground search for Malu, who fell from around 6,000 metres into a deep crevasse.

Pakistani climbers Shehroze Kashif and Naila Kiani were also evacuated after they fell ill while descending from the summit point, Sherpa was quoted as saying in the report.

Similarly, Nepal Army captain Suman Pandey, who scaled Mt. Annapurna was also evacuated from the camp after he complained of health problems.

According to Mingma Sherpa, chairman at Seven Summit Treks, Noel Hanna, the first person from Ireland to reach the summit of K2 during the winter season, died at Camp IV last night. Hanna’s body was also brought back to Kathmandu on Tuesday, the report said.

Annapurna is the tenth-highest mountain in the world, standing at 8,091 metres above sea level.

It is well known for the difficulty and danger involved in its ascent.