[ Amar Sangno ]
SEPPA, 30 Aug: Details on Everester Tapi Mra and Niku Dao have emerged as a porter, identified as Karbia Wallong, who accompanied Mra and Dao till the second base camp of Khyarii Satam peak, reached Seppa on Tuesday evening.
Mra and Dao are missing since 17 August, after they set out to climb Khyarii Satam peak.
Wallong, a porter from Wallong village, had made short videos of Mra’s expedition as he accompanied him up to the second base camp.
According to Wallong, on 14 August, Mra, Dao, Wallong and Dangbing Saria went to the second base camp at around 10:45 am and later Wallong and Saria returned to the first base camp.
“On 17 August, at around 6 am, Mra informed the team at the first base camp through walkie-talkie that they were climbing up, and said that he would contact the team by 6 pm. However, Mra did not contact them,” Wallong reported.
As advised, Wallong and Saria went to the second base camp on 18 August to retrieve all the belongings and bring them to the first base camp. They did not find Mra and Dao at the camp. Wallong and Saria reportedly waited for hours at the second base camp. However, when Mra and Dao did not return, Wallong and Saria had to return to the first base camp.
Five porters climbed to the second base camp on 19 August to check whether Mra and Dao had returned to the camp, but they did not find them. Later, on 20 August, Dangbing and Karbia went to the ridge to find any mark of activities near the second base camp. However, there was no sign of activities, Wallong said.
After almost a week of waiting, Wallong set out to the nearest village to pass on the message to the authority about the missing climbers.
Video clips of Mra, purportedly recorded by Wallong, have surfaced. The clips show that Mra and his entire team were ill-equipped against the inclement weather and heavy snow.
East Kameng DC Pravimal Abhishek Polumatla informed that aerial survey has been called off due to inclement weather.
“We are launching a search and rescue operation on ground in parallel with a team comprising Indian Army personnel and local mountaineers,” the DC said.