The body of a Peruvian climber who was found dead earlier this week on Mount Makalu, the world's fifth-highest mountain, was on Friday airlifted to Kathmandu for his last rites in the Nepali capital.
Mingma Sherpa, the Managing Director of Seven Summit Treks - the agency that organized Richard Hidalgo's expedition - told Efe news that the body of the 52-year-old climber would be handed over to the Peruvian consulate after an autopsy at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.
Hidalgo was climbing the 8,481-metre high Mount Makalu - located to the southeast of Mount Everest with the shape of a four-sided pyramid - as part of a mission to summit the 14 highest mountains in the world without supplementary oxygen by 2021 to mark the bicentennial of Peru's independence, according to the expedition's organizer.
The consul at the Peruvian consulate in Kathmandu, Sumit Kumar Agarwal, said that the body would be cremated at Pashupati Aryaghat in Kathmandu following the traditional Hindu ritual. The hospital is expected to hand over the climber's remains on Saturday morning.
"A representative from Peru will arrive in Nepal tomorrow (Saturday) with an official letter to cremate his body as per the Hindu ritual," Agarwal said.
He, however, did not confirm the scheduled date for Hidalgo's last rites.
Hidalgo was found dead in his tent at an altitude of 6,600 metres by high-altitude Sherpa guides who went to check after he did not wake up on Wednesday. Due to a lack of funds, the expedition's organizer was unable to airlift the body of the accomplished climber.
The Peruvian consulate in Kathmandu and Hidalgo's friends, however, requested the organizer to bring the body back from the mountain. Mingma Sherpa said the cost to bring the body to Kathmandu stood at $22,000.
According to the Department of Tourism, 842 climbers have been cleared to climb different mountains, including Mount Everest, in Nepal this spring.
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