The search for 39-year-old Seamus Lawless, who has been missing on Mount Everest after he reportedly fell from an altitude of 8,300 metres, is now a recovery operation. It is believed that he slipped at an area known as the Balcony.
The Trinity College professor travelled to Nepal as part of an eight-person expedition led by County Down native Noel Hanna. He told the Sunday Independent back in February that he was undertaking the expedition in an effort to raise €25,000 for Barretstown charity ahead of his 40th birthday this summer.
Due to bad weather conditions, the search was called off on Thursday, resumed on Friday but is now a recovery operation.
There are high winds and temperatures as low as -45C in the area where he slipped and fell.
According to the trekking company that organised the trip, they are now searching for a body.
Owner of Seven Summits Treks Mingma Sherpa said, “The Sherpas were shouting for him last night but couldn’t find him.
“It is a very difficult situation. We are searching for a body.”
Sherpa also confirmed that he has spoken to Seamus’ wife Pam:
“She called me many times, but how do we explain the details? When the team returns we will have more details.
“We are very sad because we have lost one of our best mountaineers. Everybody is very upset in the Himalayas.”
Lawless also has a 4-year-old daughter.
Meanwhile, a Trinity College spokesperson has said, “Seamus and his family are in our thoughts during this extremely distressing time.
“This morning his family, friends and colleagues shared his joy on reaching the peak of Mount Everest.
“We hope that Seamus is found safely as soon as possible and until then we will be offering any support we can to his family.”