A legendary Nepalese sherpa who scaled Mount Everest 19 times was hit last week by an avalanche, reports say, and the days-long search for his body has been called off.
On Wednesday, Chhewang Nima was leading a British expedition up Mount Baruntse in eastern Nepal. The 43-year-old was working ropes near the summit when the avalanche hit, according to reports quoting Jeevan Ghimire, a spokesperson for Nima's hiking agency, Sherpa Shangrila Trek and Expedition. The Toronto Star and other outlets reported that another guide was also struck.
The avalanche missed the party other climbers. When all the snow cleared, the group began to furiously dig in the snow but couldn't find the men, reports say. A helicopter search was also unsuccessful, according to Outside magazine.
Nima was close to tying the record for the most Everest summits. Fellow Nepalese climber Appa Sherpa has climbed the mountain 20 times.