Two American mountaineers, Gina Marie and Anna Gutu, who were in a close race trying to make history as the first American women to scale all 14-highest peaks in the world were stuck by avalanches during their final push on Mt. Shishapangma.
The massive avalanche hit the main climbing route on Shishapangma in the afternoon of 7th October 2023 and swept away the entire climbing route. Among the two climbing parties, the rescue recovered the bodies ofAnna Gutu and her mountain expedition guide Mingmar Sherpa.
However, Gina Marie and her expedition guide Tenjen Lama Sherpa went missing after the devastating avalanche. Tenjin Lama is a record-holding Nepali Sherpa climber who just recently completed the expedition to 14- the highest peak in the world within 92 days with the Norwegian climber Kristin Harila beating Nirmal Purja’s (Nimsdai) 189 days record.
The Final Mountain Expedition
Both of the American mountaineers, Gina Marie and Anna Gutu were in a tough race to create history as the first-ever American woman to successfully scale all of the highest peaks in the world, 14 of the 8,000-meter class mountain.
In their journey to create a history in the mountaineering world, both of the mountaineers had successfully completed the expedition of 13 out of the 14 peaks, Mt Shishapangma was the last of the 14 peaks on their list.
However, a devastating massive avalanche hit the American climbers on Shishapangma as they were pushing for the summit via the main climbing route. The avalanches hit the climbing route above 7,800 meters when both American climbers Gina and Anna were trying to scale to the top of the mountain.
Gina Marie and Anna Gutu, originally from Ukraine but an American citizen had just recently completed the successful expedition of Mt. Cho Oyu on 1st and 2nd October respectively. In the close race to become the first American to successfully scale all 14 peaks in the 8,000-meter class, both Gina and Anna climbed Mt. Cho Oyu from the Tibetan side.
Anna was climbing with the Elite Exped, the company established by the previous record-holder on the fastest scaling of the 14-highest peaks in the world, Nirmal Purja (Nimsdai) and Mingma David Sherpa.
Whereas, Gina was scaling with the 8K Expedition and was guided by the record-holding Nepali mountaineer Tenjin Lama who assisted Kristin Harila on her fastest scaling of 14- peaks within 92 days.
After learning about the incident, Kristin Harilia’s team has also confirmed that the Norwegian mountaineer is on her way to Nepal to assist in the search and rescue of Tenjn and Marie.
Rescue Mission by Imagine Trek
The leader of the Imagine Nepal Trek, Mingma G including other climbers initiated the rescue mission after the catastrophic avalanches struck the slopes of Mt. Shishapangma. The team was able to recover the two bodies of Anna Gutu and her guide Mingmar Sherpa but has yet to locate other climbers, Gina Marie and her Sherpa guide Tenjin Lama, who went missing after the avalanche hit.
Other members of the expedition team scaling on Shishapangma, Kami Rita Sherpa, Karma Gyalzen Sherpa, and Mitra Bahadur Tamang were injured in the incident.
According to the eyewitnesses, not a single but two avalanches hit the main climbing route on the mountain, these two American mountaineers happened to be scaling the area of 7,800 meters when the avalanches hit the mountain during noon.
Mt. Shishapangma at an elevation of 8,027 meters (26,335 feet) from sea level is near the Nepal- Tibet border. Among the 14-highest peaks in the world, this Tibetan mountain is considered to be the easiest expedition and ranks at the bottom of the highest mountain in the world list.
However, as of now, this mountain peak has already claimed 33 lives of the mountaineers. We will keep you updated on any new developments in this ongoing devastating incident.