Sqn Ldr SS
Chaitanya on the summit of Mt Everest
The Air Force Team summited
Mt Everest. Wg Cdr R C Tripathi,
Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya, who died on the way down, Sgt NR Chaudhury and Sherpas:
Pemba Nuru , Pemba Chhoti, Jamling Bhote and Ang Sona Sherpa. All summited
without question. However, the mystery of Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya death has
left several questions.
As you can see in the above picture,
Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya did
summit Mt Everest. Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya was using Poisk
oxygen not any other system as has been falsely reported by others for reasons
unknown. Jamling Bhote was the Sherpa with Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya.
Update October 2005: EverestNews.com has been in touch with
Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya wife for
several months now. This week she told EverestNews.com, " I got a chance to
speak to the sherpa Jamling Bhote who was with chaithanya on the expedition.
As he says, Chaithanya & he started their descent at around 11:8am. Before
which they spent around 10 mins on the summit. On their way back he says that
Chaithanya switched on to his last O2 cylinder just below the summit. But as
they climbed down, Chaithu had a broken crampon which he replaced with a spare
the sherpa had. He also mentioned to me that they had crossed the rocky band.
But after that he lost contact with Chaithanya due to the blizzard & says at
the same time he had a fall & does not remember anything after that. says he
was in the tent when he gained consciousness the next day. The team members
said that they found him unconscious near their tent. That means that he fell
very near to the camp. Now Brice says he has spotted a body at a ht of
8150mts Which lies very close to Mallory's body which he says could be
Chaithanya since the clothing color matches. "
Earlier she reported to us
that met the sherpa jamling on 20th July at Bangalore, Karnataka-India.
According to what he says, "they started the climb at 10 pm 29th May. After
around 3-4 hrs trek, Chaithanya's head lamp was unserviceable 7 they continued
with only jamling's headlamp through out the night. They had no problem
climbing & summited at 10.50 am. They both switched on to their last oxygen
can after the summit .But while climbing down, Chaithanya broke one of his
crampon & so jamling gave his crampon & took over Chaithanya's ruksac...
When Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya wife contacted
Brice, here is what she told EverestNews.com: "Brice did not get
back to me. But this is what he has informed the IAF; .....On the 4th
June my team went to the summit of Everest and during the decent my Sirdar
Phurba Temba Sherpa saw a body wearing red and black clothing which is
consistent with your teams clothing. This body is lying close to where
Mallory’s body lies, at approximately 8,150m. This is in a direct fall line
below where Phurba also saw the remaining crampon belonging to Mr Chaithanya,
which was lying on the descent route....
Other climbers also told EverestNews.com that
they saw the body around 8000-8150 meters. A ten time plus Everest summiter
(Sherpa) told EverestNews.com that "The
Indian was fall from between first step and second step... ."
Of course in 2005, a few others climbers lost
or had broken crampons....
Some of Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya
wife questions are:
1.) Why did
the Sherpa come down with the
2.) Why does it seem all his cameras,
handycam, etc with bought down by the Sherpa?
3.) Why do climbers say the location of the
body lines up with the crampon, but the Sherpa say he changed the crampon and
that he fell later? Was this the other crampon, or the one he replaced
that climbers saw?
Sadly, we have another wife looking for
details of what happened on a mountain where people die every year. If you
have information that might help please e-mail us. thanks!
Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya wife
requests any information that climbers could provide, She is trying to find
Earlier interesting reports are below...
Update June 1, 2005: After the summits on 30th May in which
three members of the IAF team
summited Everest from the North [Wg Cdr RC Tripathi (0515h), Sgt NR
Chaudhuri (0630h) and Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya (0945h)]. Several reliable
sources reported to EverestNews.com that one of these climbers did not make it
A rescue operation was started, but there has been no signs
of the climbers. We informed the team we would wait to report the news until
the family was notified and the information was released. The news has now
been released according to a report
by the Ministry of Defense.
Squadron Leader S S Chaithanya do not come back to high camp after summiting.
RC Tripathi and NR Choudhary with their sherpas arrived at reached camp three
at about 7:00 pm. The Sherpa with Squadron Leader Chaithanya reached the camp
at around 8:15 pm and informed the team that he had lost contact with
Chaithanya. Squadron Leader Chaithanya is still officially reported missing
and has not been located.
Update: Today, 30th May, three members of the IAF team
summited Everest from the North. They are Wg Cdr RC Tripathi (0515h), Sgt NR
Chaudhuri (0630h) and Sqn Ldr SS Chaitanya (0945h). They are all safe and on
their way back to ABC.
Dear EverestNews.com, As u would
be aware Russel Brice had taken the responsibility of fixing ropes on the
North side. Most teams were rather frustrated at the ropes not being in
position as late as 18th. We accordingly asked for a meeting with him in which
he flatly refused to send his Sherpas to fix rope for the 21/22 window saying
that he needed the Sherpas for sending gear and oxygen for his clients. He
also said that anyone who wanted to climb should either wait tilll he finds
time to fix ropes or do it themselves. A few teams viz Norwegian, Indian Army,
Chinese and Indian Air Force then got together and decided to fix the ropes on
21st. For reasons unknown the Chinese team did not send their Sherpa to fix
rope. The other 3 teams kept their promise and fixed rope till 2nd step.
Russel somehow had a change of heart and sent 4 Sherpas to carry rope from
North Col to Camp III.
That is the story. If we had
not taken the initiative the ropes would not have been up. Unfortunately our 4
member team had to turn back from 8600m because of oxygen and crampon problems
and because 2 members were frostbitten.
Amit Chowdhury Leader IAF
The IAF team has thirty men
and is leaving for Everest on March 29th. The expedition will be led by
veteran mountaineer Wg Cdr Amit Chowdhury. This is the first Indian Air Force
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