Photo courtesy of reurinkjan on Flickr.
ExWeb reported today that a Russian expedition is stuck at the Kangchenjunga base camp, because their gear has gone missing. The team of nine climbers have been stuck at base camp with only the gear that the brought themselves. The porters were not only carrying climbing gear, but also tents and warm sleeping bags, among other items. According to Lena Laletina from Russian Climb, because food is running out and the team needs warmer clothing, the situation is becoming critical.
The disappearance of the equipment is more than mildly suspicious. The situation is not clear, but, the Adventure Blog reported, “the porters they hired misplaced the gear while en route, and turned back at some point, leaving the team stranded without their supplies.” Call me paranoid, but is it not more than a little bit difficult to misplace nine peoples’ giant bags of gear on a trailside?
If you happen to run into a dozen or so bags of climbing gear (or the porters for that matter) on your way up Kangchenjunga, the Russians would greatly appreciate it if you would contact Lena at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The missing gear is not only a loss for the team, but for all serious climbers. Kangchenjunga, which is located on the border between Inda and Nepal, is the third highest mountain in the world. The Russians had planned to work with in tandem with two other teams to fix ropes and build three high camps on the mountain. Now, that project may be in jeopardy.
However dire the situation may sound, at least everyone is safe. The worst case scenario for the Russians is that they will not complete their climb, and will have to hike back down and call their insurance company.
And, of course, go looking for those porters.