Saturday 13 October 2018

Climbing expedition wiped out by snowstorm in Nepal.

All nine members of a climbing expedition hit by a snowstorm on the flanks of Mount Gurja in Myagdi District, Nepal, have been confirmed dead. The party, which was hit by the storm on Friday 12 October 2018, comprised five South Korean climbers, led by the highly acclaimed Kim Chang-ho, who became the first person to climb all of the world's fourteen highest mountains without oxygen in 2014. The party were discovered on the morning after the storm by a rescue helicopter, having apparently been swept off the side of the mountain by high winds.

Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, centre, who died in a snowstorm on Mount Gurja, Nepal, on 12 October 2018. Jean-Pierre Clatot/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Despite being only 7193 m high Mount Gurja has only ever been climbed by 30 people, compared to over 8000 for Mount Everest, with the last successful assent occurring 22 years ago. The mountain forms part of the Dhaulagiri Massif, which extends roughly 120 km east-west between the Kaligandaki and Bheri rivers. The area typically has warm summers with high precipitation and cool winters with cool dry winters, with October typically being one of the driest months, but storms are highly unpredictable in the area, and can occur at any time of year.

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