KWS to attempt to retrieve body of chinese climber

Wednesday September 27 2017

KWS assistant director Simon Gitau briefs a

KWS assistant director Simon Gitau briefs a rescue team in the Mount Kenya National Park ahead of a mission to recover the body of a Chinese tourist on Monday. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP Climbing Mt Kenya

By NICHOLAS KOMU
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Kenya Wildlife Service rescue team is yet to retrieve the body of a Chinese tourist who fell to his death on Mount Kenya.

Fang Wenchao, 33, died as he descended from the mountain's highest peak, Batian on Sunday.

About 20 hikers will attempt to retrieve the body from Batian - is one of the most challenging peaks to climb and only professional mountain climbers dare to climb it.

According to KWS, the team began its hike on Monday and will summit Batian on Wednesday evening.

DAWN CLIMB

“The experts will prepare for a dawn climb to the Northern face of Batian peak to reach where the body is lying,” KWS spokesman Paul Gathitu said.

KWS officials say the recovery is taking longer as the team require to acclimatise with the mountain’s atmospheric conditions as they ascend.

Rescuers said that the toughest part of the mission would be to remove the body from where it is lodged as they would have to lift it back to the top of the peak, an exercise they say could cover an additional hike of about a kilometre.

Lowering the body to the bottom of the Batian Peak could take a whole day considering the ascend alone by hikers takes up to seven hours, the slippery terrain making the whole exercise a deadly endeavour.

Once the body is lowered to the bottom of Batian Peak, about 20 potters will carry it down to Sirimon Gate Camp near Timau Town, Meru County. The body will be received by Senior KWS officials and police detectives. It will later be handed over to the family and the Chinese embassy who were alerted of Mr Wengchao’s death early Monday morning.