An Indian female mountaineer and two Sharpas have gone missing in Kanchanjunga

An Indian female mountaineer and two Sharpas have gone missing in Kanchanjunga when an avalanche struck on Tuesday evening.

According to Tilak Pandey, official at the Tourism Industry Division of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, an avalanche swept away mountaineer Chhanda Gayen (35) of Howrah, West Bengal. Along with her, two sherpas, Dawa Wangchu and Migma Temba have also gone missing in the avalanche that struck when they were close to the summit of Yalung Kang (8,505m) peak on the same massif of Kanchanjunga.

According him, Chhanda was the only female mountaineer to obtain permit from the Ministry for Yalung Kang peak this season. “Traces of an avalanche at her last known location have been found but there was no trace of her or the Sherpas,” Pandey said adding that heli-searches are underway to find the missing.

After scaling Mt Kanchanjunga (8,586m) on the same day, Chhanda had set her record as the first Indian woman to summit the world’s third highest mountain.

According to reports in Indian media, Chhanda became the third woman from Bengal to scale Mt Everest in 2013 and she had planned her Kanchenjunga adventure to mark the first anniversary for 2014 spring. “She also climbed Mt Lhotse in 2013 after her summit to Mt Everest.”

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