Korean climbers missing on Himalayan peak

Three Korean climbers have gone missing on a remote Himalayan peak that has a reputation for being amongst the most deadly in the world. The men had hoped to reach the summit along a new route yesterday, but search and rescue were initiated when there had been no word from them in nearly three days.

Park Young-seok, Kang Ki-seok and Shin Dong-min left Base Camp on Annapurna, the tenth highest peak in the world, earlier in the week with designs on reaching the summit yesterday. On Tuesday however, they radioed their support team in BC to let them know that they were aborting their climb due to dangerous conditions on the mountain. That was the last that anyone has heard from the team.

Realizing the climbers were overdue, the Base Camp team called for help in Kathmandu on Thursday, and a high altitude SAR team was dispatched, along with a helicopter, to search for the missing men. They discovered a rope that they believe was used by the team, but so far they have found no trace of the climbers themselves. It is feared that they may have fallen into a crevasse or been swept away by an avalanche.

Annapurna stands 26,545 feet (8091 meters) in height and has been called the deadliest mountain in the world. The massive peak has a fatality rate of 38%, meaning that for every three climbers who summit, one doesn’t make it back alive. That is the highest death rate on any of the 14 mountains that reach 8000 meters in height or higher.

[Photo credit: Wolfgang Beyer via WikiMedia]