Remains of four French climbers found

Kathmandu, July 17:

A Nepali-French joint search team found the remains of four French climbers who had disappeared nine months ago while climbing illegally a peak situated along the Nepal-Tibet border.

The French mountain guide Jean Coudray-led search team, comprising seven Nepali high altitude Sherpas, found the remains at the bottom of Ganesh Himal area, said Nima Sherpa, general secretary of the Nepal Mountaineering Instructors’ Association. The search team found the remains last Wednesday at an altitude of 5,400m, said Sherpa.

Their bodies were hard to recognise and buried in a grave. After burial a small Buddhist monument was built to locate the site, Sherpa said. The team had left Kathmandu on June 19 and spent two weeks in the Himalayas.

Meanwhile, Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepali Mountaineering Association, said the four French men had obtained a permit to climb Mount Paldor, a 5,896m Nepali peak, but instead made an unauthorised attempt on the 7,200m Ganesh Himal VII. “They were reportedly swept away by an avalanche,” Sherpa said.

The four deceased were aged between 28 and 36 years and were experienced climbers. One of them was a professional mountain guide.

The four -— Jean-Baptiste Moreau, Raphael Perrissin, Vincent Villedieu and Stefan Cieslar — were last seen on October 16.