Paul and Shelley Hersey in January announce their plan to climb Anidesha Chuli. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Chest-deep snow and a high avalanche risk forced Warrington
couple Paul and Shelley Hersey to retreat to base camp on
their final attempt to reach the summit of an unclimbed
mountain in the Himalayas.
Reports from the couple on social media this week said they
reached 5600m on Anidesha Chuli, but the snow and a lack of
visibility made the couple decide to return to base camp with
Australian climbing partner John Price.
''Huge amounts of snow, lots of avalanches, short windows of
visibility and a worsened forecast of more snow and wind - up
to galeforce towards the end of the week - helped the
decision be made.
"A mix of emotions at base camp. Will start trekking out of
base camp in a few days. Thanks for all the support and
interest shown. Shelley, Paul and John,'' the post said.
An earlier post by the couple revealed plans to establish
base camp at 5000m and they then had 24 days to climb 6800m
Anidesha Chuli, known as the White Wave.
Anidesha Chuli is in the Kangchendzonga region of eastern
Nepal, bordering both India and China.
If Mrs Hersey had reached the summit, she would have become
the first New Zealand woman to reach the top of an unclimbed
mountain of that height.
Mr Hersey, talking to the ODT in January, said he
expected the most challenging part of the climb would be
getting through the 1000m icefall on the last two or three
days of the expedition.
Queenstown climber Ben Dare was rescued from the mountain
last May when his climbing partner, Scott Blackford-Scheele,
fell 90m, sustaining a head injury.
At the time, the pair were 400m from the summit.