Snowstorm kills nine climbers on Nepal peak

Posted October 15, 2018

Five South Korean climbers including team leader Kim Chang-ho along with their Nepali support staff were killed in the incident, Sherpa said.

A renowned South Korean climber was among nine people killed when a vicious snowstorm hit their camp on Nepal's Mount Gurja, according to officials. The body of one of the Nepalese guides was flown to his village.

All nine members of a South Korean climbing expedition were confirmed dead Saturday after a violent snowstorm devastated their camp on Nepal´s Mount Gurja, one of the deadliest mountaineering accidents to hit the Himalayan nation in recent years.

"Five South Korean climbers are dead, three Nepalese nationals are also dead".

The previous year, 16 Sherpas were killed on Everest when an avalanche swept through the Khumbu Icefall during the busy spring climbing season.

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The South Korean expedition was being led by Kim, who set the record in 2013 for being the fastest to reach the summits of the world's 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

The team had injuries, including head wounds and broken bones, consistent with being hit by strong winds, but rescuers say it most likely caused by the powerful downblast from an avalanche, not a storm.

Santa Lama of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, who helped with coordinating the rescue, said since all nine people at the camp were killed and no surviving witnesses it was hard to say what exactly happened or when.

The South Korean ministry told reporters the storm blew the victims from their base camp off a steep cliff.

Rescue efforts on Saturday were driven back by the bad weather, with two attempts to land helicopters at the site...

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Gurung said a rescue team hoped to return to the camp on Sunday if conditions improved.

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

Grieving family members gathered at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Nepal's capital where the bodies were to be autopsied before being handed to their families.

The climbers were on an expedition to make a new trekking route when their camp on Mount Gurja was swept away by a strong storm.

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