Snowstorm in Nepal kills 9 climbers
KATHMANDU: Nine members of a South Korean climbing expedition were killed after a violent snowstorm swept them off a cliff on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, one of the deadliest mountaineering accidents to hit the Himalayan nation in recent years.
The bodies of eight climbers — four South Koreans and four Nepali guides — were spotted near the wreckage of their camp by a rescue team yesterday morning, but strong winds were hampering the search effort.
A fifth South Korean climber was initially reported missing, but officials have now confirmed that he was at the camp when the deadly storm hit Friday and is believed to have also perished.
Helicopter pilot Siddartha Gurung was among the first people to reach the site and described a scene of total destruction.
“Everything is gone, all the tents are blown apart.”
Siddartha landed a helicopter just above the expedition team’s camp and attempted to descend to the campsite with a group of villagers, but icy and unstable conditions meant they were unable to retrieve any of the bodies.
Rescue officials tried to send a second helicopter to the site yesterday but it was unable to fly due to strong winds.
Another attempt will be made today, say police.