Body of Melbourne woman still on Everest
Sherpas working to retrieve the body of Melbourne woman Marisa Strydom off Mount Everest are hopeful she’ll be in Kathmandu by the weekend, with her sister saying the situation is “looking positive”.
Guides have again reached Dr Strydom’s body at 7600 metres and aim to bring the Monash University lecturer down to camp two below 6600 metres on Thursday.
She’ll then hopefully be transferred to Kathmandu by helicopter on Friday, Seven Summit Trek managing director Mingma Sherpa told AAP by phone from Nepal.
“The weather today is good but tomorrow I don’t know,” he said on Thursday.
Dutch climber Eric Arnold, who died on the same ill-fated expedition as Dr Strydom, has already been brought down to camp two. It’s expected his body will be flown to Kathmandu on Thursday.
Dr Strydom’s sister confirmed the retrieval effort was still under way.
“Due to bad weather they had to stop and will recommence today (Thursday),” Aletta Newman told AAP from Brisbane.
“But it’s looking positive.”
Dr Strydom’s husband, Melbourne vet Robert Gropel, remains in Kathmandu waiting for news from the mountain he conquered before it claimed the life of his 34-year-old wife on the weekend.
Her mother, Maritha Strydom, on Thursday thanked people who’d pledged funds to help repatriate her daughter to Australia.
“We have been humbled by the many offers of assistance and tributes flowing in for my daughter Marisa Strydom and support for Robert Gropel and our family,” she posted on Facebook.
Maritha included a link to a fundraising webpage established by Dr Strydom’s St Michael’s Netball Club.
The For Maria page is trying to raise the estimated $40,000 needed to recover the body and fly it to Kathmandu.
“She was a leader, our team mate and most importantly our friend,” the formaria.stmichaelsnc.com.au page states.
“Now it is our turn to give back to Maria and her family.”
Dr Gropel’s parents, Heinz and Patricia, are in Nepal with their son.
They’ve told AAP the Melbourne vet is “extremely devastated and heartbroken” after he was forced to leave his partner on Mount Everest after she died of altitude sickness.
Expedition leader Arnold Coster earlier this week revealed Dr Strydom spent 31 hours above the South Col and was stabilised with medicine and oxygen after returning.
“Marisa was able to walk out off the tent herself the next morning … but two hours out off camp she collapsed on the Geneva Spur,” Mr Coster wrote.
“Her husband tried to retrieve her, but this was not possible anymore.”