The tragedy at Pathibara on 27 February was horribly similar, although these days news travels fast and the dreadful details were quick to be confirmed. This time it was tourism leaders who vanished into a blizzard and exploded into the crags, leaving a sickening void in Nepal’s hospitality and aviation industry. Along with technical personnel, we lost two fine men — an inspirational minister, and Nepal’s most visionary and courageous tourism entrepreneur.
The Last journey, Ramesh Kumar and Gopral Gartaula
The power and pull of Pathibhara, Sewa Bhattarai
Last week WWF’s Ghana Shyam Gurung reflected on the trauma: “This loss brought back my memory of 2006. No one should challenge weather.” In 2006 most of the incinerated bodies were unrecognisable in their seats and crumbled into ashes to the touch, Ghana had told me. Only Mingma Norbu Sherpa was thrown clear on impact, lying as though asleep on the ground a short distance from the burnt-out wreckage.
Once Ghana’s rescue team was eventually able to access the area, hampered by driving rain and wind, it was late the day after the crash before they reached the site after a four-hour climb in the dark, and another day passed before news filtered through to us in Kathmandu.