At least seven climbers have been killed after a storm on the Himalayas in western Nepal. (Supplied: Vladimir Dinets)
At least seven mountaineers have been killed and two others are missing after their camp on a Himalayan peak in western Nepal was hit by a snowstorm, police said.
- Nine climbers had been reported missing after the storm
- Rescue helicopters were unable to land due to bad weather
- The climbing season in Nepal is now at its peak, with the country boasting eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains
Police official Bir Bahadur Budhamagar said villagers who on Saturday reached the site at the base camp of Mount Gurja, a 7,913 metre-high peak, spotted seven bodies on the mountain slopes.
Nine climbers had been reported missing in the country’s worst climbing disaster in two years. The Himalayan Times reported all nine had been killed in a landslide triggered by the storm.
“The bodies have not been identified. Going by the colour of their skin four bodies must be of Korean climbers, while two are Nepalese [guides],” Mr Budhamagar said.
“It is unclear whether the seventh body found was that of a Korean or Nepali.”
The remote area is difficult to reach by foot, Mr Budhamagar said, and locals were still looking for two other climbers who were missing after the overnight storm.
Tourism Ministry official Rameshwar Niraula said rescue helicopter pilots also spotted the bodies but were unable to land due to bad weather conditions.
“Rescuers will try to recover the bodies on Sunday,” the official said.
Wangchu Sherpa, head of the Trekking Camp Nepal agency that provided local support to the South Korean team, said the camp had been destroyed, citing reports from the pilot of the rescue helicopter sent to look for the missing group.
The area lies about 216km north-west of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
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. Income from foreign climbers is a major source of revenue for the cash-strapped nation.