A pall of gloom has descended on the families of the two mountaineers from West Bengal who died near the summit of Mount Kanchenjunga during an expedition.
Former Everest conquerors Biplab Baidya (48) and Kuntal Karar (46) died Wednesday night above Camp IV after they suffered hypothermia and snow blindness and could not continue their descend from near the 8,586-meter summit.
While Biplab made successfully to the summit, Kuntal fell sick on his way. Kuntal's father Chandicharan said his son was close to reaching the summit of the world's third highest mountain in Nepal.
They died while being brought back to the base camp by rescue teams.
"We spoke to him yesterday. He was very happy. Since childhood he loved trekking. We all were proud of him. This time when he was leaving, I had a feeling he won't come back. But he said he would," Chandicharan said.
For Biplab, who scaled the Mt Everest in 2014, mountaineering was first love.
"Before leaving, he had told me that he would come back after two months. I told him what was the need of going by risking life. He said mountaineering was his passion and he can't live without it," Ashish, Biplab's elder brother, said.
Biplab hailed from Baranagar and Kuntal, who scaled Mt Everest in 2017, was from Howrah.