KATHMANDU – A Taiwanese trekker who went missing over six weeks ago in the Himalayas of Nepal was rescued on Wednesday, but his Taiwanese girlfriend who was with him died earlier this week, a Nepalese mountaineering official said.
The 21-year-old man, identified as Liang Sheng-yue, told rescuers that he and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Liu Chen-chun, got lost on March 9 after wandering off into a cul-de-sac in a gorge in the Ganesh Himal area of Dhading district, northwest of Kathmandu.
They survived for weeks by drinking water from a stream, eating snow and taking some salt they were carrying, he told them.
“His girlfriend who was also stuck in the gorge passed away three days ago,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association and chairman of Asian Trekking, which rescued Liang, told Kyodo News.
Sherpa said rescuers had to conduct a “longline rescue,” using a 200-meter-long rope to drop trained rescuers into the gorge and pull him out, before airlifting him to Kathmandu.
“The gorge is so deep that it is impossible to climb out of it without help,” Sherpa said.
An official of Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the discovery of the two missing trekkers and the death of one of them and said the ministry has notified their families of the news.
In addition to thanking the public for its concern, the families expressed hope to be left alone so they can make proper arrangements accordingly.
According to Sherpa, whose trekking agency was approached by Liang’s parents for help after they lost contact with him, the trekkers had not hired a Nepali guide or taken assistance of any local trekking agency.
He said Liang is currently recuperating at Grande Hospital in Kathmandu, adding, “Doctors have told us that he will survive.”