Kathmandu - Five South Korean climbers and three Nepalese guides are feared dead after a snowstorm tore apart their base camp at Mount Gurja in western Nepal, police said Saturday. There were five South Korean climbers and four Nepalese guides in the camp when the strong storm hit.
Wangchu Sherpa, of the Trekking Camp Nepal agency, said the rescue helicopter sent to look for the climbers could not land due to poor visibility.
Kim is believed to be among the dead, officials said.
Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains including Mount Everest, and the autumn climbing season is now at its peak. A heavy snowstorm followed by a landslide buried the base camp at an altitude of 3,500 metres when the climbers were awaiting for a fair weather to move towards higher camps, he said. However, the identities of others killed in the incident were not immediately known.
A police team was also headed toward the base camp on foot and would likely reach there on Sunday.
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Only 30 people have successfully climbed to its peak compared with more the than 8,000 people who have reached the summit of the world's highest mountain, Everest.
A sixth South Korean national was staying in a village in the valley below the mountain when the powerful storm struck and survived, according to a local police report.
Gurja was first summited in 1969 by a Japanese team but no one has stood on its summit for 22 years, according to the Himalayan Database.
The climbers had been waiting for a window of good weather so they could reach the summit, when the storm hit Friday.
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