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At least 12 dead in avalanche on Mount Everest

Katmandu, Apr 18 (EFE).- At least 12 Nepalese guides were killed and three others badly injured Friday in an avalanche on one of the climbing routes to the summit of Mount Everest, authorities told Efe. The avalanche occurred before 7:00 a.m. as some 50 Sherpa guides were making their way from base camp to Camp 2, 6,400 meters (21,000 feet) up the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain, according to Tilak Ram Pandey, an official in the Tourism Ministry's mountaineering department.

At least 12 dead in avalanche on Mount Everest

Katmandu, Apr 18 (EFE).- At least 12 Nepalese guides were killed and three others badly injured Friday in an avalanche on one of the climbing routes to the summit of Mount Everest, authorities told Efe. The avalanche occurred before 7:00 a.m. as some 50 Sherpa guides were making their way from base camp to Camp 2, 6,400 meters (21,000 feet) up the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain, according to Tilak Ram Pandey, an official in the Tourism Ministry's mountaineering department.

Nepal plans free SIM cards to aid stranded hikers

Nepal intends to distribute free mobile SIM cards to trekkers travelling alone to remote corners of the country, to address safety concerns and aid any rescue efforts, an official said Thursday. Tens of thousands of independent trekkers arrive in the Himalayan nation every year, with the majority travelling through the scenic Annapurna, Langtang and Khumbu regions. Recent reports about missing hikers prompted the government to launch the new initiative, which will see officials distribute mandatory SIM cards to all solo trekkers when they apply for required entry permits.

Swiss climber involved in Everest brawl back in Nepal

A Swiss climber who vowed never to return to Mount Everest after a brawl with local Sherpa guides last season is back in Nepal to scale another peak, an official said Thursday. Ueli Steck, a famed Swiss climber, and his team are now at the base camp of the world's tenth highest peak, the 8,091-metre (26,545-feet) Annapurna, Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the tourism ministry, told AFP. "He has received the permit to climb Annapurna," Shrestha said.

Nepal to allow climbers to scale five more peaks

Nepal will open five more peaks above 8,000 metres for mountaineers to scale when the autumn climbing season begins, a tourism official said Tuesday, a move largely welcomed by local climbers. The Himalayan nation currently allows climbers to scale eight mountains above 8,000 metres, including the world's tallest peak, Mount Everest. Nepal plans to open three peaks in the Kanchenjunga region and two from the Everest region.

Nepal to keep closer eye on Everest expeditions

Nepal's tourism ministry said Friday it plans to exercise tighter control of climbers scaling Mount Everest to make sure they keep the world's highest peak clean and to prevent rows. The ministry will set up a 10-member team made up of government officials, veteran Nepalese climbers and security officers that will start work when the next climbing season opens in the spring. The team will ensure that climbers do not leave trash on the mountain, Purna Chandra Bhattarai, chief of the tourism industry division at the tourism ministry told AFP.

Search called off for Spanish mountaineers missing in Pakistan

Logroño, Spain, Jul 26 (EFE).- Rescue teams on Friday called off their search for three Spanish mountain climbers who went missing four days ago during the descent of the Gasherbrum-I peak in northern Pakistan. Alfredo Garcia, who had accompanied the other men during part of the ascent but turned back before reaching the summit, told Efe that after an initial attempt to locate Abel Alonso, Alvaro Paredes and Xevi Gomez the rescuers had given them up for dead.

Missing Spanish climbers in Pakistan pronounced dead

Three Spanish climbers who went missing in the mountains of northern Pakistan earlier this week were pronounced dead on Friday, their colleagues on the expedition said. "After losing contact with them on the morning of July 22 and given the adverse climactic conditions at altitude in the following days, we made one more flight search that confirmed our worst fears: the three have died," they said in a statement.

Weather delays rescue of Spanish climbers in Pakistan

Islamabad, Jul 24 (EFE).- Rescue teams were awaiting an improvement in the weather Wednesday to resume the search for three Spanish climbers who went missing during the descent of the Gasherbrum-I peak in northern Pakistan. "The weather is a mess," another member of the expedition, Sergio Ruedas, said from base camp. Abel Alonso, Alvaro Paredes and Xevi Gomez made it safely to the 8,068-meter (26,469-foot) summit of Gasherbrum-I, but went missing as a storm came up suddenly during the descent.

Search called off for Iranian climbers in Pakistan

Rescuers have called of the search for three Iranian climbers who went missing in the mountains of northern Pakistan, an official said Monday. The Iranians sent a distress call just after summiting the 8,051-metre (26,414-foot) Broad Peak on July 16, Manzoor Hussain, chief of the Alpine Club of Pakistan that coordinated the expedition, told AFP. Rescue teams and an army helicopter searched but did not locate them after they had called for help and reported exhaustion and lack of food, he said, adding that the climbers made calls back home to Iran on Saturday.
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