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Daniel Paterson: Partner of British man missing in Mount Everest ‘death zone’ issues plea for help with search

The family of a British fitness instructor who went missing on Mount Everest when part of the route collapsed beneath him have issued an urgent plea to help them launch a search and rescue mission.

Daniel Paterson, 40, disappeared in the “death zone” of the world’s highest peak just after he had reached the 8,849m high summit on Tuesday morning.

Mr Paterson was part of a 15-member fee-paying team with mountaineering company 8K Expeditions, which is now frantically searching for other missing climbers in temperatures which can fall to as low as -36C.

Describing him as a “beloved son, brother, partner, friend and a proud joint owner of Wakefield Crossfit” who is “known for his adventurous spirit, his kindness, and his unwavering dedication to helping others”, Mr Paterson’s partner Becks Woodhead is urgently seeking help to crowdfund a rescue effort.

“Time is of the essence in a situation like this, and we are mobilising every resource we can to locate Dan. We are hoping to launching a search mission with the assistance of a rescue team specialising in search operations in extreme environments,” Ms Woodhead said.

“Conducting a search and rescue operation on Everest is an incredibly complex and costly endeavour. We are not experts in this, and there is no guarantee of success.”

They have so far received more than two thirds of their £150,000 target, the sum recommended by crisis response team Global Rescue.

This photograph taken on 12 May shows mountaineers as they climb during their ascent to Mount Everest’s 8,849m high summit
This photograph taken on 12 May shows mountaineers as they climb during their ascent to Mount Everest’s 8,849m high summit (AFP/Getty)

Lakpa Sherpa, who led the expedition in which Mr Paterson was taking part, said: “We regret to inform you that a cornice collapse occurred yesterday at Hillary Step.

“Two of our brave team members, Mr Paterson and Mr Sherpa are missing. Witnesses reported the incident took place between Summit Ridge and South Summit and some climbers were swept away in Kangshung Face.

“Our dedicated search and rescue teams are deployed on the ground. They are working tirelessly to locate our missing climbers.”

The Nepali Department of Tourism said six mountain guides had been scrambled to help join the search after Mr Paterson and his guide slipped and vanished from the mountainside.

Mount Everest can be a treacherous climb
Mount Everest can be a treacherous climb (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

It said: “Mr Paterson and the accompanying Nepali mountain guide Mr Sherpa reached the peak of Everest at 4.40am on 21 May.

“It has been reported that the climber and his guide slipped and disappeared near the South summit near Kangsung Face on 21 May at 7am while returning from the summit of Everest.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those involved in the search and rescue of those whose condition is currently unknown and who are missing in the accident.”

The UK Foreign Office told The Independent: “We are supporting the family of a British man who is reported as missing in Nepal and are in touch with local authorities.”

It comes after two Mongolian climbers Usukhjargal Tsedendamba and Prevsuren Lkhagvajav died above 8,500m while descending from the summit point on 13 May.

Since the first conquest of Mount Everest in 1953, the peak has been climbed thousands of times, and it gets more crowded every year.

During the spring climbing season in 2023, 667 climbers scaled the peak, which brought in thousands of support staff to the base camp between the months of March and May.

Those who would like to donate to the campaign can do so here.


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