the essential Three unidentified bodies were discovered by mountain guides in Nepal, in the area where three young French climbers disappeared on 26 October after an avalanche in the Everest region, local police told AFP on Monday.
After two days of interruption, operations resumed Friday to find Louis Pachoud, Gabriel Miloche and Thomas Arfi, French mountaineers who have been missing since 19 October, at the following an avalanche during their ascent of the west face of Mingbo Eiger culminating at 6 070 meters above sea level.
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“A helicopter accompanied by a rescue team made up of professional mountain guides were dispatched to bring back these bodies”, continued the police officer. “We cannot confirm the identity of these bodies at the moment. If the weather remains favorable, the mountain guides will recover the bodies,” he added. The head of operations of Kailash Helicopter Services has confirmed the dispatch of one of its aircraft. “Our helicopter went there to collect the bodies,” Shree Hari Kuikel told AFP.
Ang Norbu, sherpa and head of the search and rescue operation, had specified that his team of five mountain guides was to be joined last Saturday by experienced international mountain guides from France.
Last telephone contact
Members of the National Mountaineering Excellence Group (GEAN), an elite formation of the French Federation of Alpine and Mountain Clubs (FFCAM), the young mountaineers were part of a team that arrived at the end of September, in the Khumbu region and Everest, with the aim of climbing different peaks culminating in some 5 and 6 m, south of Ama Dablam (6 814 m).
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“The hope of finding survivors is now almost nil,” FFCAM said last Monday. The last telephone contact with the young people from their bivouac dates back to 26 October, according to the Federation.
“The helicopter reconnaissance dispatched by the FFCAM on Sunday 31 October in the morning as well as the overflight of their track on Monday November 1 made it possible to locate their tracks until 5 900 meters on the ridge leading to the summit. At this altitude, the rescuers were able to observe the outbreak of an avalanche, “added the FFCAM.
Nepal reopened its doors in September to foreign climbers, exempting those vaccinated from quarantine. The Covid pandemic – 000 last year resulted in the total shutdown of the tourism industry in the country of 30 millions of inhabitants, devastating its highly dependent economy.