Tibetan Mountain Avalanches Leave 2 Dead and 2 Missing

Two avalanches hit Mount Shishapangma in Tibet, the world’s 14th highest peak, on Saturday, killing two climbers and leaving two others missing, according to a Chinese news media report.

The report in Xinhua, a Chinese state media organization, identified those killed as Anna Gutu, an American mountaineer, and Mingmar Sherpa, a Nepalese guide.

Two other climbers, Gina Marie Rzucidlo, an American, and Tenjen Sherpa, a Nepalese guide, were missing, the report said. A third Nepalese guide, Karma Geljen Sherpa, was seriously injured, it said.

The Xinhua report said the two avalanches had struck the mountain at 7,600 meters and 8,000 meters, as 52 climbers were attempting to reach the peak, at just over 8,000 meters.

Susan Rzucidlo, the mother of Gina Marie Rzucidlo, said her daughter, who was 45 and lived in New York City, and Ms. Gutu were attempting to become the first American women to climb the world’s 14 peaks above 8,000 meters.

She said her daughter was only 80 meters from achieving that goal when the avalanche struck her and Tenjen Sherpa, about two hours after an earlier avalanche hit the climbers below.

“Gina was just an amazing person,” Susan Rzucidlo said. “She just lived life to the fullest. She really wanted to accomplish this.”

She said her daughter had been training for years, and had climbed five peaks above 8,000 meters this year and eight others in previous years.

Mount Shishapangma would have been her 14th, her mother said.

“What I heard was she was the strongest and happiest ever on that mountain,” Ms. Rzucidlo said.

Mingma David Sherpa of Elite Exped, a company that organizes mountaineering expeditions, told Agence France-Presse that rescue efforts on Mount Shishapangma were complicated because of Chinese restrictions on the use of helicopters there. Xinhua reported that climbing on the mountain had been suspended.

Ms. Rzucidlo said she had been told that search-and-recovery efforts might have to wait until the spring.

Ms. Gutu documented her adventures — mountain climbing, skydiving and paragliding — on Instagram. This month, she posted a photo of herself holding the American and Ukrainian flags atop Cho Oyu, writing that it was the 13th mountain above 8,000 meters that she had climbed.

“One step, one peak closer to accomplish all 14 highest mountains on earth,” she wrote.

Tenjen Sherpa and a Norwegian mountaineer, Kristin Harila, had recently set a record by climbing the world’s 14 peaks above 8,000 meters in 92 days, according to Outside.

A message on Ms. Harila’s Instagram page said she was “now on the plane, on her way to Kathmandu, to help in any way she can.”

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