Missing Climbers May Not Have Had Permission

8, including 2 Americans, are presumed dead on unnamed peak in India
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2019 10:30 AM CDT
Birds fly as Mount Everest is seen from Namche Bazaar in Nepal. The eight missing climbers weren't on Everest but on an unnamed peak in the Indian Himalayas.   (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

(Newser) – The news about eight missing climbers in the Indian Himalayas took a grim turn Monday when Indian pilots spotted five bodies amid evidence of an avalanche. High winds and snow kept rescuers from getting to the spot to search for the other three, but one official said the odds of anyone being found alive is "almost zero." Two Americans, four Brits, an Indian, and an Australian who'd returned to climbing after a 17-year hiatus were on the expedition. The Americans have been identified as Anthony Sudekum, 63, of Missouri, and Ronald Beimel, 34, of Los Angeles. Details and developments:

  • Missouri surgeon: Sudekum is a hand surgeon based in O'Fallon, Mo., reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Sudekum is an avid climber, and his practice posted online on May 10 that he'd arrived in India to climb Nanda Devi East mountain. No details were immediately available about Beimel.
  • No permission? The climbers were indeed in the region of Nanda Devi East, one of India's highest peaks, but the group's Facebook post says they were attempting to climb a slightly smaller, unnamed peak when they went missing. Indian authorities said the group didn't have permission to do so, reports CNN. Had authorities known they were going up the unnamed peak instead of Nanda Devi, they "would not have given permission," says Pithoragarh District Magistrate Vijay Kumar Jogdande.

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