Moon gives condolences for Korean climbers

Saul Bowman
October 15, 2018

The incident is the worst climbing accident to hit Nepal in two years.

The five South Koreans and four Nepali guides were found scattered across the base camp near Mount Gurja, a 7,193m high peak (23,600ft).

Seoul's Foreign Ministry confirmed his identity Monday but has not yet disclosed the names of the four other South Koreans who died in the weekend storm.

"The bodies of all five Koreans and four Nepalis have been identified", Budhamagar said from Myagdi district where the disaster took place.

A police team heading toward the base camp on foot is unlikely to reach the site until Sunday.

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'".

The victims included a four-man Korean team to the Gurja mountain.

Niraula said officials were still gathering details of what exactly happened but from what rescuers described, the climbers were blown over by the blast of the blizzard-like wind conditions.

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

The expedition was led by experienced South Korean mountaineer Kim Chang-ho, who has climbed the world's 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

The CAC official said a Korean Air flight carrying the remains will return to Seoul early Wednesday. Kim achieved his feat in 2013.

A helicopter reached the site about 100 kilometres northwest of Kathmandu and managed to land just above the team's camp, but personnel were unable to retrieve any of the bodies.

An official from the Corean Alpine Club said the families of the deceased climbers and its club members originally planned to go to Nepal and cremate the bodies before transporting them to South Korea for funeral.

A helicopter rescue team spotted all the bodies amid the wreckage of the camp on Saturday morning but strong winds hampered the effort to retrieve the bodies.

Mount Gurja sits in Nepal's Annapurna region and is rarely climbed because of the unsafe conditions.

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