3 Estonian climbers die on Peru mountain (3)

Huascaran national park (Reuters/Scanpix)
6/9/2015 9:30 AM
Category: Society

Four Estonians mountain climbers went missing after an avalanche in the Huascarán National Park in central Peru. Annemai Märtson, a 33-year-old woman, was found alive with rib fractures, bruising and dehydration.

The bodies of the other three, all aged between 36 and 45, are believed to be under many meters of snow, local media reported.

The event took place early Sunday morning when the group was walking over an ice bridge, which broke, causing an avalanche. Rescue workers needed 12 hours to arrive at the scene and a further three hours to free Märtson.

Alfredo Martin Quintana Figueroa, the head of rescue operations in Peru, told Postimees that the three climbers fell through an ice bridge, then the rest of the bridge fell apart on top of them followed by the fourth climber, who survived. He said it is almost certain the three are dead as they would not have survived so many hours under snow.

The climbers were attempting to climb the Tocllaraju mountain, literally translating as snow trap, over 6,000 meters high.

All three, Tarmo Riga, Jane Riga and Allan Valge were seasoned mountain climbers having conquered many high mountains around the world. Alar Sikk, Estonia's most successful mountain climber, said Tarmo Riga was currently Estonia's best climber.

A previous version of the story said the three bodies have already been found, which is not the case.

J.M. Laats

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