Rescue team unable to find missing S'porean climber on Everest, says wife: 'Shri is in the mountains'

Yong Li Xuan
The Straits Times
May 27, 2023

The search and rescue team was unable to locate the missing Singaporean climber who reached Mount Everest’s summit, despite their best efforts, the climber’s wife said in an Instagram post on Saturday.

Interspersing her message between pictures of her husband Shrinivas Sainis Dattatraya on various mountain peaks, Madam Sushma Soma, a 36-year-old musician, said: “He was 39, and in his glorious and rich life, he lived fearlessly and to the fullest. He explored the depth of the sea and scaled the greatest heights of the Earth.

“And now, Shri is in the mountains, where he felt most at home.”

Mr Shrinivas summited Mount Everest on May 19 but told his wife he had come down with high-altitude cerebral oedema and was unlikely to make it down the mountain.

Groups of three Sherpas each had been searching for the Singaporean, Nepal Guide Treks and Expedition – one of the companies that co-organised Mr Shrinivas’ expedition – had told The Straits Times earlier.

The climber had left Singapore on April 1 with the aim of summiting Mount Everest and then Mount Lhotse in a single expedition. He would have been one of the few in South-east Asia and the first Singaporean Indian to do so, according to Madam Soma.

“Only few can dare to dream the way he did,” she said, adding that her husband was “judicious, meticulous and sharp”.

“Having successively scaled a higher mountain every year, including all 8,163m of Manaslu, Shri understood the gravity of such dreams.”

Manaslu, located in the Nepalese Himalayas, is the eighth-highest mountain in the world.

She said: “I witnessed his focus, rigour and discipline in training to achieve this feat while also managing his work commitments as an executive director.”

Mr Shrinivas worked for real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

In her message, Madam Soma thanked Mr Shrinivas’ guide, Mr Dendi Sherpa, for “being his trusted companion” and “always putting Shri first, even before himself” during their climbs. Mr Dendi had tried to save Mr Shrinivas, and was hospitalised with frostbite to his fingers, according to an earlier ST report.

She also thanked the climbing community, the Sherpas from Nepal-based adventure travel operator Seven Summit Treks and JLL for helping to search for her husband. Seven Summit was the other co-organiser of Mr Shrinivas’ Everest ascent.

In addition, she thanked family and friends, as well as Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Indian High Commission of Singapore, as well as the Nepalese and Chinese governments for their support.

In a statement on Saturday, MFA expressed its condolences to Mr Shrinivas’ family.

Its spokesman said: “Since the onset, the Singapore High Commission in New Delhi has been in close contact with the family and will continue to extend consular assistance and support to the family during this difficult time. The ministry would like to express its appreciation to all authorities for their support in the search and rescue efforts.”

Madam Soma said she would not speak to the media and requested space and privacy to grieve.

She said: “I am humbled to have witnessed him and all that he stood for.

“I am incredibly proud of him and feel lucky to have experienced life and death through him.”

The Straits Times

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