Three young French climbers missing after an avalanche in the Himalayas

the essential Three young French mountaineers are missing following an avalanche in the Khumbu valley, Nepal.

Three young French mountaineers, Thomas Arfi, Louis Pachoud and Gabriel Miloche, originally from Isère and members of the National Mountaineering Excellence Group (GEAN), disappeared this Sunday 31 October in Nepal , reports Le Dauphiné Libéré . They could have been swept away by an avalanche in the Khumbu Valley near Mount Everest. “These are two guides, including a recent graduate and an aspiring guide,” indicate our colleagues. “For the time being, they have disappeared but there is little hope” indicated the French Federation of Alpine and Mountain Clubs.

The three climbers are part of a group of young athletes who left 30 September in the Khumbu region (Everest region), to climb several summits between 5 and 6000 meters above sea level located south of Ama Dablam (6814 m). They left since 24 October for a climb to a summit near Ama Dablam and the last telephone contact with them dates back to 26 October, according to the FFCAM.

A helicopter chartered by the federation carried out a reconnaissance on Saturday and spotted “traces of ascent as well as the debris of a large-scale avalanche in the face”. “Today Sunday 31 October, a helicopter with a rescue team is dispatched to try to find any survivors,” adds the FFCAM.

The head of GEAN Stéphane Benoist told Dauphiné Libéré to be “in shock, devastated, like the whole group”. According to him, the group of 8 climbers had split “into two groups, five on one side and three others (…), on another ascent. There was a delay in their time of ascent, the FFCAM took the lead and had a helicopter fly over their wall “. “They spotted traces that end. We can imagine that they were swept away by an avalanche. The helicopter spotted traces of equipment at the foot of the wall. Tomorrow, Nepalese rescuers will go there, the weather forecast is ‘Good announcement to intervene. We know it’s dangerous, but we are devastated, “he said. According to The Himalayan Times newspaper, tents and mountaineering equipment were spotted near a glacier under Mount Ama Dablam by a rescue team early Sunday.

An official from the Ministry of Tourism told the newspaper that these climbers did not require the necessary permission to embark on this climb. “We do not yet have clear information on the number of missing persons,” the president of the Nepalese National Association of Mountain Guides, Ang Norbu Sherpa, told AFP. “We have sent a team of 5 very experienced mountain guides. They are on their way and will start the search operations tomorrow (Monday)”, he added.

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