Slovenian dies in Himalayas


A veteran climber was found dead in the Himalayas today, days after he was injured and became stranded, a mountain rescue company and a close friend said.

The body of Slovenian Tomaz Humar was recovered early today by a three-man rescue team, Gerold Biner, flight operations manager for respected Swiss firm Air Zermatt, said. “They called me . . . to tell me the rescue mission was over,” he said.

Humar (40) last contacted his base on Monday to say that he had been injured while climbing 23,710ft (7,227m) Langtang Lirung.

Viki Groselj, a fellow Slovenian mountaineer and a friend of Humar, told the Associated Press that Humar had broken his leg and become stranded.

Rescuers in Kathmandu said searches by air and on foot on Tuesday and Wednesday proved fruitless. They said Sherpa guides had trekked the snowy slopes where Humar was supposed to be but could not find him.

Heavy snowfall on Wednesday and Thursday also forced climbers to postpone searches because of increased avalanche risk.

Humar was climbing a difficult route up Langtang Lirung, which has made rescue efforts even more difficult.

Mr Biner said the team “spotted him quite quickly” today. “He was lower than expected, at 5,600m (18,373ft), not 6,300m (20,669ft),” he added. It was not immediately clear when Humar died.

Humar, who was married with two children, had climbed many mountains around the world.

In 2005, he got trapped in the Himalayas on an icy ledge of Nanga Parbat mountain at about 19,685ft (6,000m) during a solo climb. Two Pakistani army helicopter pilots eventually saved him and were later decorated with Slovenia’s highest award for bravery.