At least eight climbers killed on Nepal peak

Posted October 15, 2018

Nine climbers-five South Koreans and four Nepalis-died at the Mt Gurja based camp in Myagdi district when a violent snowstorm devastated their camp.

Nepalese authorities said a storm had struck the group of climbers at the base camp of Mount Gurja, a 7,193-meter (23,599-foot) mountain in the Annapurna region.

Local rescuers recovered all nine bodies on Sunday morning after strong winds halted recovery efforts the day before. Some bodies had been located Saturday.

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

Mount Gurja lies next to the avalanche prone Dhaulagiri range. Since then, only 30 climbers have made it to the summit. Capt. Siddartha Gurung, a helicopter pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission, described a scene of total destruction.

Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, making it a major attraction for ambitious climbers.

The South Korean team were planning to scale the mountain via a never-climbed route, according to the Korean Alpine Federation. The four Nepali guides who died have not been identified.

Evening view of Gurja Himal in Nepal. Yonhap news agency said senior CAC member Jeong wasn't part of Kim's team but was visiting them when the accident happened. Im was a filmmaker who specialized in documentaries of mountain climbers.

"There are dangers to all areas where humans attempt to push the boundaries".

South Korea's Foreign Ministry told reporters strong winds during the storm blew the victims from their base camp off a steep cliff. Given for excellence in mountaineering, the awards are known as the "Oscars of alpinism".

Yu was reportedly in charge of equipment for Kim's climbing team.

"Their climbing achievements in itself were excellent, however, most of all they left nothing on the mountain", the federation said.

Experienced climber Kim Chang-ho, the first South Korean to reach the summits of the world's 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen, is among the dead.

According to the Himalayan Database, no one has successfully climbed it in more than 20 years. Compare that to Mt. Everest, which more than 4,800 climbers have summited - many of them sherpa who have achieved the feat a few times.