Snowstorm kills nine climbers on Nepal peak

Heavy snowstorm and landslide buried the base camp

At least eight climbers killed on Nepal peak: officials

A storm Friday night destroyed their camp and rescue helicopter sent early Saturday were unable to land because of bad weather conditions on the mountain, police official Bir Bahadur Budamagar said.

A fifth South Korean climber was initially reported missing, but officials later confirmed that he was at the camp when the deadly storm hit Friday and is believed to have also perished. The other South Korean climbers who died have been identified as Lee Jaehun, Rim Il-jin, Yoo Youngjik, and Jeong Joon-mo.

Wangchu Sherpa, head of the Trekking Camp Nepal agency that provided local support to the South Korean team, said the camp had been devastated, citing the pilot of a rescue helicopter that was sent to look for the missing group on Saturday morning.

Mountaineer Kim Chang-ho was the first Korean to climb 14 peaks above 8,000 metres without using supplemental oxygen, The Himalayan Times reported.

Police said local villagers spotted the bodies on the lying slopes of the mountain peak after the storm hit.

"Everything is gone, all the tents are blown apart", Gurung told AFP. The official said the camp had been destroyed.

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'(A recovery team) could see the bodies of the climbers scattered near the camp'.

Expedition organisers raised the alarm after losing contact with the group, who set off on 7 October, for almost 24 hours.

Police officials say the remote area is hard to reach by foot and locals are still looking for the remaining climber yet to be recovered.

"Rescuers will try to recover the bodies on Sunday", Niraula said.

The group of South Korean climbers and their Nepali guides had been camped at the foot of the 7,193-meter (23,599 foot) Mount Gurja since early October, waiting for a window of good weather so they could attempt to reach the summit.

The area lies about 216 km (130 miles) northwest of Kathmandu in the region where the world's seventh-highest mountain, Dhaulagiri, is located. No-one has stood on it's summit since 1996.

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