How did the distribution of the flyers go in Nepal?

The flyer mission has now been completed and the SAR Dogs Nepal team has returned safely. We have received a report from Karna and would like to share this with you. The photos are made by Karna himself. SAR Dogs have been in different villages nearby and on the Dhaulagiri and have come to something after Italian Basecamp (over 3600m).

People involved from SAR Dogs Nepal (in random order): Jit Bahadur Masrangi Magar (director), Laxman Chaudhary, Karna Bahadur Dura, Bikram Ranabhat and porter Man Bahadur Gharti. And also Prinsa, 7 month old labrador.

Day 1:

On May 24th, SAR Dogs Nepal Team drove to Beni from Pokhara. The team met with police S.I. Hira Thapa Magar at District Police Station, Beni and updated about Christiaan’s case and also gave some flyers. He told us that he will spread flyers among other police posts. After this we drove up to Tatopani. On the way we gave flyers to the locals, students and hung flyers in public places and houses. After lunch in Tatopani, we drove to Dharapani (before Takam), spread flyers to the people and hung on wall of the houses, spoke with locals if they have found some stuffs as seen on flyer. After this we drove to Takam and met with Police from Police Post, Takam. Most of the police from this region were new so didn’t know much about Christiaan. After conversation with Takam police we headed to Muna Village. We spread some flyers to the youth whom we met at school of Muna Village and to the locals.

Karna (right) with a policeman of Tatopani

Day 2:

We drove next to Mudi Village where the new road ends then the team splitted. Jit and Laxman drove back to Pokhara and Karna, Bikram and Porter continued their way towards Mudi Village. After walking for an half and hr we stopped at Mudi Village. We spread flyers to the people we met. We also met with a German guy and gave him the flyer. He was planning to go back to Darbang. We had only very short talk with him because he only asked us for the way to Darbang. From Mudi, we continued going towards Naura. We stopped at Naura for Lunch. We gave some flyers to the owner of Naura hotel so that he can also spread flyers to other people. After lunch we started going. We reached Bagar and planned to stay there. We visited other houses in that area and spread flyers.

Villagers from Mudi looking at flyer hung on Wooden wall of a small local shop.

Day 3:

We started going towards Doban. We knew that the hotel in Italian Basecamp is still opening because there are more than 55 people are constructing the foot trail up to Swiss Camp. We talked with people we met with, spread flyers to them. We stopped at Dhapcha for lunch. The weather was bit bad. It was slightly raining before we reach Doban. We reached Doban and stayed there that night.

Day 4:

We moved towards Italian Basecamp. The weather on this day was good. We found that the river’s water level was high as compared to last time. Though the locals repaired the foottrail, in some places it was damaged by the rain water. We stopped before Sallaghari where we met with a local Buffalo Herder. We gave him flyer and asked him if he or other people from that area found some stuffs as shown on picture on flyer. He didn’t heard or found anything.

Local Buffalo Herder next to Sallaghari area where we stopped by for short break.

Italian Basecamp

After a short break, we walked towards Italian Basecamp. We reached Italian basecamp around 1:30 PM. After a short rest, we walked towards Swiss Camp to see the area. Unfortunately weather became worse, started raining so we returned back to Italian basecamp. But we took several pictures from below Swiss camp.

Landslide area just above Italian camp with new route.

The river view below Swiss camp with new foot trail

The locals made the route much better than before and in some parts they had changed the route. We met with all the locals in the evening. We gave flyers to them and told about Christiaan and what he had brought with him for the expedition.

Locals at Italian basecamp gathered in the evening after they returned back from work.

We talked with the owner from the Italian Basecamp. He told us that there had happened an accident last October. A Nepali porter fell down from the Icy cliff which is below Japanese camp and washed away by the river. He was recovered only after a month nearby Swiss camp. The body was stuck in between two big stone and the Helicopter came and took him to Kathmandu. We found much snow this year in this region. The owner from the Italian Basecamp said that there is much snow above Swiss camp. We also noticed that there is much ice above the river next to Italian camp.

Day 5:

We returned back from Italian Basecamp. We came up to Bagar on that day. On the way we met with other Indian tourists. We told them about Christiaan too so that they can look around for Christiaan’s belongings. We stayed at Bagar.

Day 6:

We moved down towards Naura from Bagar. We met with a family from Mudi who went for collecting Yashragumba (Himalayan medicinal herbs) in the Himalaya. We informed them about Christiaan too. At Naura we had our lunch then continued till Kaleni and stayed there. On the way we met with several people from these areas so informed them about Christiaan and his belongings. Most of them knew about this case.

A couple who were returning to their home after collecting Yashragumba got our flyers.

Day 7:

We walked towards Darbang. We spread flyers to the people whom we met on the way. We reached Darbang and went to the Police station. We gave the overleft flyers to them so that they can spread to the locals too. The officer was happy to help us. From Darbang we drove by local taxi to Tatopani and then had our lunch. Then we went by Taxi to Beni and visited the Beni Police Station again. We updated them about Christiaan after this we drove to Pokhara by our jeep.

Conclusion:

While we were talking about Christiaan and his belongings to the locals, some locals advised us if we can provide rewards incase someone find belongings of Christiaan. There may also come legal issue regarding the stuffs finding. People may become victim of it so mostly don’t showed interest in search of the stuffs while they are on their daily life work around that area, specially the river banks. But some said that they will inform Beni police or to SAR Dogs Nepal if they find any stuff related to Christiaan. We hope this may bring positive result sooner or later.

Links to earlier posts on this website about the area:

What now?

It’s slowly getting more quiet. There are less messages, less ideas for further search. Last week, we came back from Nepal as the last group. All nine friends have returned now, landed at Schiphol airport, without Christiaan. Life goes on.

Unfortunately, at the moment it is too dangerous to continue searching around the Swiss camp/Italian camp. So with a group of Dutch people we decided to stop looking in he area of Beni. In any case, chances that Christiaan has arrived there are very small. The search by Westerners may also backfire. The same questions you ask, they will ask you.

Our presence in Nepal during the last weeks enabled us to create very good contacts with the right people over there. The locals are well aware of the disappearance of Christiaan. If tips come in, we can ask Saron to further investigate. However, we should review all tips we get critically. The amount of $ 500 triggers people to respond, regardless of whether they saw something. If we promised more money, all of Nepal would start calling us.

And what now? Do we keep searching when the monsoon is over in September? Who? How? With what kind of techniques? These are the questions we are considering right now. If you have any ideas that might help us, please let us know through our tips page.

 

Update June 18

For the past few days, we’ve been trying to get Paul back up, back into the area around Swiss camp. This is the place where we have found the piece of Christiaan’s helmet (see image).

Locatie helm

Locatie helm

Paul arrived on site on Friday and will continue the search today, joined by two porters.
It took quite some effort getting Paul back into the area. At first, the plan was for Paul to start at the same time as the army, but unfortunately the deployment of a special Nepalese army unit is taking longer than expected.
Ruben and Paul went to find out on Friday morning at the Pokhara airfield whether a direct helicopter flight from Pokhara was an option. Fortunately, they were in luck! A helicopter came back from Jomsom, willing to make a stop to pick up Paul and the two porters and carry them to the area. The two porters speak English and were fit. At first, the pilot only wanted to land at Italian camp, but when it became clear that there was insufficient visibility, Paul was dropped off at Swiss camp. The three of them will be able to visit all areas of interest around Swiss camp. We hope to be able to get support in our search from the Nepalese army soon. The army has by now pledged their commitment, but the actual start of the search is taking a while.

Press release: Piece found of missing climber Wilson’s helmet

In the search for Dutch climber Christiaan Wilson, who has been missing since May 16th, a piece of a helmet has been found that is most likely his. It was found near Swiss Camp on the route that Wilson planned to take. The piece is clearly part of a Petzl Sirocco helmet. A traveling companion who was with Wilson earlier on in his trip, has confirmed that he did indeed have one of these helmets.

Not weathered
The piece of the helmet was found in a hard to access spot, at a narrowing of a stream. According to Paul van der Laan, who is searching for the climber together with a group of friends and a group of climbing experts, the material shows no weathering by sun or water. This could indicate that the material had only been there briefly and confirms the assumption that the piece is part of Wilson’s helmet. Paul had to descend with a length of climbing rope to get to the piece.

Time is short, monsoon starting soon
Based on the discovery of the piece of helmet and the location where it was found, the team searching for the Dutchman is drawing up new scenarios. The team will continue its search, with the aid of search and rescue dogs and the support of various climbing experts. However, time is running out since the monsoon is coming, which will greatly hinder their search efforts. Yesterday, one of the friends on the search team reported a landslide in the area. In the coming period, ongoing rain will only increase the likelihood of landslides.

Disappearance
On April 17th, Christiaan departed for a trip of 35 to 40 days to the summit of the 8167 meter high Dhaulagiri in the Himalayas. This mountain is located about 500 kilometers from Mount Everest. He was with Jordan, a climbing friend from the United States. On May 4th, Jordan suspended his ascent and went back down to civilization on his own.

Christiaan last used his satellite phone on May 15th, and didn’t respond to text messages that were sent later. Various eye-witnesses saw him depart in the direction of Italian camp on May 16th. Since then, there’s been no trace of him.

NOTE FOR EDITORS

For more information, please contact the ‘Stichting Red Christiaan Wilson’ via stichting@christiaanwilson.nl or +31 (0)20-760 19 81.

Foto van Christiaan Wilson met de specifieke helm. (Geen grotere resolutie beschikbaar)

Christiaan Wilson met helm

Photo of Christiaan Wilson with the helmet in question. (Higher resolution not available.)

Petzl Sirocco helm

Petzl Sirocco helm

Overview Map Swiss camp related to Italian camp (right above in the corner is Dhaulagiri basecamp)

Overzichtkaart