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Avalanche on Pang Puche

The Samdo 2012 (Medical Aid Mountaineering) expedition to climb Pang Puche (6500-7000m, as yet unmeasured) has been halted after two members of the expedition were caught in a major avalanche on the peak. Bjørn Myrer Lund and Pasang Sherpa were both injured by the avalanche of April 19. Lund was in serious conditions with a fractured thigh and lung damage, which have necessitated his retreat and evacuation from the area. He is now stable in hospital in Kathmandu. Pasang Sherpa also suffered injuries and has been moved to the base of the mountain. The other members of the team remain on the mountain, packing up the various camps the expedition had set up.

The avalanche occurred on the afternoon of April 19 while Bj?rn Myrer Lund and Pasang Sherpa were climbing at between 5700-5800 meters. Lund fell 500m and was found without vital signs. He later recovered, but could not be moved to hospital until Monday due to poor weather and the fragility of his condition. On Saturday the team decided to retreat from the mountain and end their attempt. Now in hospital in Kathmandu, Lund will be flown home to Norway on May 1 if his condition allows.

An experienced climber, Bj?rn Myrer Lund was part of the Samdo 2012 expedition, an expedition with the twin goals of providing medical assistance in the area of the village of Burhi Gandaki, and climbing Pang Puche. Other members of the expedition include fellow Norwegians Solvor Sm ? kasin and Ola Einang and Swedish climbers Markus Korhonen and Martin Carstens.

Located on the border of Nepal and Tibet, Pang Puche is one of the major unclimbed peaks in the area. This border area has been the site of ongoing conflicts for the decades complicating access for climbing expeditions. Only recently has the area been open, a French expedition in 2009 and a Japanese team in 2010 made unsuccessful attempts.