Fox News Flash top headlines for October 12
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A climber who says he was scaling the same Tibetan peak as two American women and their two Nepalese guides who died when a pair of avalanches struck, described one of the women as “one of the best mountaineers” and apologized for being unable to save her.
Nepali-born Nims Purja, who set the record for climbing all 14 of the world’s tallest peaks in the fastest time, praised the life of his 32-year-old friend Anna Gutu, whom Chinese state-media confirmed died summiting Mount Shishapangma on Saturday.
“We were on the same mountain on the same summit push – I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.” Purja said in an Instagram post. “Thank you for being my sister, my friend. I will always remember you Anna, words can’t even describe how I feel. The phrase ‘missing you’ isn’t enough, now you are part of my life, you will live in my memories as long as I live.”
The avalanches crashed down the slopes of the peak at elevations of 25,000 and 26,000 feet, killing Gutu and her Nepalese guide Mingmar Sherpa. A second American, Gina Marie Rzucidlo, and her Nepalese guide Tenjen Sherpa were initially listed as missing until officials confirmed the pair had also died.
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Anna Gutu, 32, was chronicling her ascent of Mount Shishapangma on social media. (Anna Gutu / Instagram)
Purja also posted a tribute to Mingmar, writing, “my heart keeps crying.”
“I assure you, your family will be looked after. As long as I’m alive, I promise I’m now the guardian to your family. I will meet you in the next life my brother,” the climber wrote.
Mount Shishapangma is seen from Baiku Lake in Xigaze, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region in September. On Saturday, a pair of avalanches struck the mountain at high altitudes. (Chen Zepeng/Xinhua via AP)
When the pair of avalanches struck at the high altitudes, a total of 52 climbers from various countries, including the U.S., Britain, Japan and Italy, were attempting to summit the mountain, the world’s 14th tallest peak. The mountain stands 26,335 feet above sea level and is located within Chinese territory.
Snow conditions on Shishapangma have since suspended all climbing activities.
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Travels across the Himalayas rise in October after the end of the rainy monsoon season, though experts have cautioned that climate change has increased the risk of avalanches in the region.
Nepal’s sherpa guide Tenjen Sherpa, 35, was also confirmed to have died by Chinese state media. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File)
At least 120 people in the Indian Himalayas have been killed by avalanches over the past two years.
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The still-missing Tenjen Sherpa, 35, was part of the team who broke the record for climbing all 14 of the world’s tallest mountains in the fastest time in July. He was working toward becoming the youngest climber to summit all 14 peaks twice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.