Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Atleast five South Korean climbers and four Nepalese guides missing in storm

Mount Gurja in Nepal's Dhaulagiri range Image Mount Gurja in Nepal's Dhaulagiri range
Steven Clarke | 13 October, 2018, 17:18

A five-member South Korean expedition team and four Nepali guides were at the base camp of Mount Gurja when the storm struck, police said on Saturday.

Thapa, the police spokesman, said weather conditions on the mountain were preventing search-and-rescue efforts.

Five South Koreans are among nine climbers confirmed to have died after a powerful snowstorm destroyed their camp on a Himalayan peak in Nepal.

The group of South Korean climbers and their Nepali guides had been camped at the foot of the 7,193-meter (23,599 foot) Mount Gurja since early October, waiting for a window of good weather so they could attempt to reach the summit.

A police team was also heading toward the base camp on foot but would likely reach there on Sunday.

"Everything is gone, all the tents are blown apart".

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The violent snowstorm buried the climbers at the base camp at an altitude of 3,500 metres near the south face of Mount Dhaulagiri in western Nepal on Friday evening, said Wangchu Sherpa, the Managing Director at Trekking Camp Nepal. The official said the camp had been destroyed.

Team leader Kim was the first South Korean national to summit 14 peaks above 8,000 metres without using supplemental oxygen.

Gurung landed a helicopter just above the expedition team's camp and attempted to descend to the campsite with a group of local villagers, but icy and unstable conditions meant they were unable to retrieve any of the bodies.

Nepal is in peak climbing season at present after the end of monsoon season.

According to the Himalayan Database, no-one has stood on Gurja's summit since 1996.

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