Kathmandu: Nine climbers, including five South Korean nationals, who were part of a trekking expedition, were killed after a snowstorm destroyed their base camp on a Himalayan peak in western Nepal, the police said on Saturday.
Wangchu Sherpa, Managing Director at Trekking Camp Nepal said that five Korean climbers — of Koreanway Gurja Himal Expedition 2018 — including their team leader Kim Chang-ho were killed when the storm struck their camp on Mount Gurja on Friday evening, the Himalayan Times reported.
Kim Chang-ho was the fastest person to summit the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.
Other four climbers were Nepali. All the dead people were identified by the authorities, the report said.
The heavy snowstorm followed by a landslide buried the base camp at 3,500 meters on the 7,193 metre-high mountain when the climbers were awaiting a fair weather to head towards the high camp, Sherpa quoted the eyewitnesses as saying.
A helicopter with rescuers was sent to the site in the morning, but it failed to land at the base camp due to bad weather, said a police official.
A police rescue team was later making its way on foot to the site.
Mount Gurja sits in Nepal’s Annapurna region, next to avalanche-prone Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh highest mountain.