An Australian climber has fallen to his death while descending a peak near Mount Everest in eastern Nepal.
Newcastle man Michael Geoffrey Davis, 33, died on Ama Dablam on Thursday while part of a group of 15 that was going down the 6812m Himalayan peak.
He plunged to his death after a huge rock fell and damaged ropes he was using to descend the mountain, the Himalayan Times reported.
An aerial rescue operation was carried out and Mr Davis’s body was airlifted to Kathmandu for a post-mortem, Top Himalaya Guides managing director Tshering Pande Bhote told the newspaper.
“The mountaineer fell to his death after a huge rock damaged the ropes he was using to descend the mountain,” Mr Bhote said.
He said no other members of the expedition were injured.
Late last month, Mr Davis took to Facebook to announce his plans to undertake the hike, sharing a series of photos of the trek’s early stages.
“So I’ve just started 5 week expedition to climb Nepal’s prettiest peak Ama Dablam. After nine months of on and off training it’s finally begun. Very excited,” he wrote.
Mr Davis’ friend Dean Spong paid tribute to the “truly unique character” in a touching Facebook post Saturday morning.
“The world wakes a sadder place today. Our mate Michael has left us doing what he loved, conquering the nooks and crannies of the world most of us only dream about,” he wrote.
“Your endearing quirks and zest for life made you a truly unique character that had the ability to make life easy and fun when you were around.
“Your impact on us all is immeasurable. We’ll miss you mate.”