Two Spanish climbers swept away by avalanche on Nepal peak

 

Two Spanish mountaineers were swept away by an avalanche and are presumed dead on the world's seventh tallest mountain, Mt Dhaulagiri in west Nepal, agents of the expedition said Tuesday. Santiago Sagaste and Ricardo Valencia from Spain were swept away by avalanche on Sunday at Camp 2, nearly 6,200 metres high on the mountain, according to agents from Monterosa Treks and Expedition.

Two other climbers, Javi Serrano of Spain and Gerlinde Kaltenbruner of Austria, escaped but their climbing gear had been swept away.

The accident happened as the four were attempting to summit the 8,167 metre-high Mt Dhaulagiri.

The bodies have yet to be recovered, two days after the accident, as bad weather and heavy snow along with high winds was preventing the recovery operation, Monterosa Treks said.

The six-member team led by Sagaste had now abandoned its attempt on the peak.

Earlier this month, Italian climber Sergio Dalla Longa died when he slipped and fell several hundred metres down a crevasse as he attempted to reach the summit of Mt Dhaulagiri.

The three deaths make Mt Dhaulagiri the deadliest mountain in the Nepalese Himalayas this year.

Bad weather coupled with raging storms have prevented many climbers from attempting peaks across the Nepalese Himalayas, including the world's highest Mt Everest.

One report said dozens of climbers were waiting for weather to clear up on Mt Everest to make a summit attempt.

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