Nepal storm kills sev­eral climbers in Hi­malayan peak Gurja

Iran Daily - - Society -

At least eight climbers died when a vi­o­lent snow­storm de­stroyed their camp on a Hi­malayan peak in western Nepal.

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, BBC wrote.

A res­cue he­li­copter at the scene con­firmed see­ing eight bodies in the ru­ins of the camp, but was un­able to stay due to bad weather con­di­tions.

The ninth clim­ber has yet to be found but is feared dead.

“Five South Korean climbers are dead, three Nepalese na­tion­als are also dead. One Nepali guide is miss­ing,” the po­lice spokesman, Sailesh Thapa, told the BBC.

Lo­cal me­dia re­port that South Korean clim­ber Kim Chang-ho, the fastest per­son to sum­mit the world’s 14 high­est moun­tains with­out us­ing sup­ple­men­tal oxy­gen, is among the dead.

“The camp was com­pletely de­stroyed,” the BBC heard from a Myagdi District of­fi­cial, Li­lad­har Ad­hikari.

“[A re­cov­ery team] could see the bodies of the climbers scat­tered near the camp.”

He said an­other re­cov­ery team would be sent on Sun­day, weather con­di­tions per­mit­ting.

Ex­pe­di­tion or­ga­niz­ers raised the alarm af­ter los­ing contact with the group, which set off on Oc­to­ber 7, for nearly 24 hours.

The climbers had been wait­ing for a win­dow of good weather so they could reach the sum­mit, when the storm hit on Fri­day.

The base camp, which is at least one-day’s trek from the near­est vil­lage, is at 3,500 me­ters (11,483 feet), on the 7,193-me­ter-high moun­tain.

The rarely-climbed Mount Gurja sits in Nepal’s An­na­purna re­gion, next to avalanche-prone Dhaula­giri, the world’s sev­enth high­est moun­tain.

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

Only 30 peo­ple have suc­cess­fully climbed to its peak com­pared with more the than 8,000 peo­ple who have reached the sum­mit of the world’s high­est moun­tain, Ever­est.

A. TREADWAY

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