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Snowstorm kills nine climbers on Nepal peak

Snowstorm kills nine climbers on Nepal peak

"Going by the colour of their skin four bodies must be of Korean climbers, while two are Nepalis", Budhamagar told Reuters from Myagdi district where the site is located.

Wangchu Sherpa, managing director of Trekking Camp Nepal, who organised the expedition, said: "After they (the climbers) were out of contact since yesterday we sent people from the village and a helicopter to search for them'".

A rescue team found their bodies among the wreckage of their camp this morning.

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A group of five South Korean mountaineers and four Nepali guides were at the base camp of Mount Gurja when the storm struck overnight, police said on Saturday.

Dakal said they were still struggling to confirm if the fifth South Korean had reached the base camp when the powerful storm tore through the area on Friday. "The conditions were too icy to continue the search", rescue pilot Siddartha Gurung told AFP.

Wangchu Sherpa, managing director of Trekking Camp Nepal, who organised the expedition, said they raised the alarm after they had not heard from the team for almost 24 hours.

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The storm is the deadliest incident to hit Nepal's mountaineering industry since 18 people were killed at the Mount Everest base camp in 2015 in an avalanche triggered by a powerful quake. Sherpa said they were waiting at the base camp at an altitude of 3,500 metres for fair weather, when a heavy snowstorm followed by a landslide killed them.

"It is hard to collect the bodies with the small helicopter that we spotted them with", a ministry official said.

In April, an Italian climber died after he was blown off Mount Dhaulagiri, the world's seventh highest peak which neighbours Mount Gurja. The group included renowned climber Kim Chang-ho, the first South Korean to scale 14 of the world's highest mountains without an oxygen tank.

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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.


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