Nine Climbers Killed During Mount Gurja Ascend, Bodies Retrieved!

IndraStra Global

Nine Climbers Killed During Mount Gurja Ascend, Bodies Retrieved!

By IndraStra Global News Team


Image Attribute: View from Poon Hill to the mountains of Dhaulagiri Himal; The mountain peak on the far left is the Gurja Himal, Nepal / Photograph by Manish Dangol, Wikipedia

On October 13, 2018, at least nine mountaineers were killed after their base camp on a Himalayan peak of Mount Gurja (Gurja Himal, a 7,193m/23,600ft high peak) in western Nepal was hit by a violent snowstorm - country’s worst climbing disaster in two years. The bodies of all nine climbers have been retrieved.

The five South Koreans and four Nepali guides were found scattered across the base camp. They were found to have suffered broken bones and head wounds in Friday's storm.

The crew of a rescue helicopter began retrieving the victims on Sunday, after attempts the day before was halted by strong winds. "All nine bodies have been found and the team are in the process of bringing them down," said Siddartha Gurung, a chopper pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission. The bodies are being kept at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital morgue, where doctors will conduct autopsies before the bodies are handed over to family members.

Image Attribute: Late Kim Chang-ho, The expedition leader

Image Attribute: Late Kim Chang-ho, The expedition leader

The expedition was led by experienced South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, who has climbed the world's 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen. The climbers led by Kim had been waiting for a window of good weather so they could reach the summit when the storm hit Friday. Other deceased Korean climbers of the expedition have been identified as Lee Jaehun, Rim Il-jin, Yoo Youngjik, and Jeong Joon-mo. The identities of Nepali guides killed in the incident were not immediately known.

The rarely-climbed Mount Gurja sits in Nepal's Annapurna region, next to avalanche-prone Dhaulagiri, the world's seventh highest mountain. According to the Himalayan Database, no-one has stood on Gurja's summit since 1996. The peak was first conquered on November 1, 1969, by a joint Japanese-Nepali expedition led by Tomokuni Sägi and Sherpa Lhakpa Tenzing. The ascent route led from Kaphegletscher over the west ridge to the summit.