Missing mountaineers feared dead in snowstorm

The 18 climbers who went missing while attempting to scale Mt Kanguru in Manang district are reported to have died in a snowstorm. All the 18 team members including seven French and 11 Nepalis have died on the mountain," Nepal 1 Television reported Sunday evening.

The climbers, led by 60-yr-old French climber Daniel Stolzenberg had gone missing while climbing the 6,981-meter peak on October 19. Four Nepali support staff of the same team had escaped the accident as they were outside the tents. They were rescued by a helicopter from Meta in the Narphu valley of Manang region and were brought to Pokhara Sunday morning, according to the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA).

However, the HRA officials say they haven’t heard anything from the 7-member team dispatched for the rescue of the missing climbers. They also said that the snowstorm was triggered by an avalanche.

Several other mountaineers are also reported stranded in the Annapurna region following heavy snowfall.

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency reported that the French government is sending an experienced alpinist to help in the rescue of the missing mountaineers.

"We are still extremely worried about the roped party of seven French climbers and their Nepali Sherpas," the French Foreign ministry said in a statement, reports Kantipur Online. I.L.