9 days on, no trace of missing Shimla trekker


Shimla, November 28

A team of Dogra Scouts on Monday joined the search operation to find the trekker who went missing nine days ago while returning from Friendship Peak in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, officials said.

On November 17, Sachin and Ashutosh, residents of Chopal in Shimla district, and Sahil from Manali started their trek to the peak. However, Sachin returned to the base camp due to high-altitude sickness while the remaining two continued their journey, the officials said.

Ashutosh, on the edge of the mountain, was hit by an avalanche on November 19 when he was just 20 metres short of the summit and fell towards the Dhundi-Atal tunnel side.

A team of Dogra Scouts from Pooh in Kinnaur on Monday joined the search operations to find the missing trekker, the officials said.

The search teams have found only the helmet, ice axe and headlamp of Ashutosh. The administration is using reco/radar technique to find the trekker.

The recco/radar is a rescue technology used to locate people buried by an avalanche or lost in outdoors. The system is based on a harmonic radar system comprising a detector and a passive reflector integrated into outdoor clothing and gears.

The Dogra Scouts were called after eight rescue missions by the local administration. The teams from Atal Bihari Vajpayee Mountaineering Institute, Manali, and a Tiranga team from Army failed to find Ashutosh.

The site from where he went missing is at around 15,000 feet with temperatures ranging between minus 10 and minus 15 degrees C. The area is avalanche prone, hampering the search operations.