Sherpa missing as avalanche hits Mt Dhaulagiri

KATHMANDU: A climbing Sherpa has gone missing after an avalanche struck a team of rope-fixing Sherpa above Camp II on Mt Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) in western Nepal this morning.

Officials at the expedition handling agencies confirmed that a climbing Sherpa was reportedly missing in the incident after the avalanche hit a seven-member team of Sherpa while fixing a route from Camp II to Camp III. The missing has been identified as Dawa Geljen Sherpa of Makalu rural municipality - 2, Sankhuwasabha.

“The fate of missing person is unknown,” Mingma Sherpa, Managing Director at the Seven Summit Treks which locally manages the 12-member expedition on Mt Dhaulagiri said, “Six of them have, however, come into contact.”

According to him, efforts are underway to rescue the climbers from the incident site. A helicopter with long-line rescuers has already been sent to the incident site, Sherpa said, adding that air and ground searches were being conducted to search for the missing Sherpa.

The Department of Tourism has issued climbing permits to two teams for Mt Dhaulagiri, the world’s fifth highest mountain, in the autumn season. Seven Summit Treks has its 12-member team comprising the Spanish climber Carlos Soria Fontan (79) while Himalayan Vision Trek and Expedition has been handling a six-member team led by Austrian climber Andreas Neuschmid on Mt Dhaulagiri this season.