Search for missing climbers put off till June

Kathmandu, November 5:

The search for members of French Expedition Team, who have been missing since the massive avalanche in Mt Kanguru, has been postponed for seven months.

The chairman of the Himalaya Rescue Association, Bikram Neupane, said the search will continue in June/July, when weather will be more favourable and snow will start melting. “The decision on when to conduct the next search operation will be taken after a meeting with the French Embassy”, Neupane said.

Neupane said the rescue team searching for the 16 missing climbers has postponed the search for the second time due to unfavourable weather conditions. The team returned to Kathmandu today, he said.

The rescue team, which included four Frenchmen, 25 Nepalis and two trained dogs had reached Mt Kanguru on last Monday in a second attempt to locate the missing. The team was forced to return due to harsh weather conditions, Neupane said. He added that the team was able to recover the body of a French climber in its second search attempt. It may be noted that the body of a French climber was recovered earlier.

Out of 22 members of the expedition who went missing in an avalanche at the 6981-metre Mt Kanguru on October 20, 16 members of the expedition — 11 Nepalis and five Frenchmen — have still been missing.