[Update, 9.26.12 @ 10:30 a.m. MT — Stay tuned to freeskier.com for an in-depth look at the disaster in the coming days.]
According to a report by the BBC, at least nine climbers are dead and six more remain missing in Nepal after an avalanche struck camp three of the Manaslu peak, located in the North of the country. Among the climbers was skiing legend Glen Plake, who survived the incident. Planetski.eu reports Plake sent a message to a friend in Chamonix, Trey Cook, confirming his safety. The message read: “I’m OK, a bit beat up; missing some teeth and a bruised eye but write in big capital letters, GLEN PLAKE IS ALIVE AND HE’S COMING HOME.” Plake shares a shocking account of the experience, here.
The climbers were stationed at 7,000m (22,960ft), preparing to to head toward the Manaslu summit (8,156m). “The avalanche hit camp three of the Manaslu peak… resulting in a flood of snow,” said Laxmi Dhakal, head of the Nepalese home ministry’s disaster response division. While two bodies have been recovered, seven more were spotted on the mountainside before conditions were deemed unfit for rescue efforts. Police official Basanta Bahadur Kuwar was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, “10 people had survived the avalanche but many among them were injured.”
Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world, is widely considered one of the most dangerous. Manaslu has claimed dozens of lives in recent years. Stay tuned as we’ll continue to bring you updates as they become available. Condolences go out to those most deeply affected by the tragedy.
*Geographical image via BBC