The tragic story of Annapurna climbers Malaysian Wui Kin Chin, 49, and Nima Tshering Sherpa, 32, is becoming a bit more clear. They summited Annapurna around 3:50 pm on April 23, 2019, in high winds and deep snow already weakened.  30 other people also summited but Chin became extremely fatigued while descending.

Through a series of events, he went missing for over 40 hours, left alone above 7,500-meters fully exposed to the elements before an extremely risky rescue could retrieve him. The last update on his condition, on Sunday, April 28, 2019, said he was being flown from Kathmandu by air-medic to Singapore where he lives. It’s being reported that he has lost his hands and legs to severe frostbite.

In my opinion, it appears this entire incident was a case of a climber with a late start, not turning around earlier when trouble first began, and poor communications between the companies – Seven Summit Treks (SST) and Global Rescue (GR). Also poor communication, and a lack of understanding of the coverage the client had bought. Finally, the ill-will between the companies complicated communications and resulted in Dr. Chin and Nima having paid the price. That said, there are also examples of making exceptions to rules, unusual courage and unselfish acts that resulted in both men being alive today.

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