News outlets in Nepal are reporting that six trekkers have gone missing in the Annapurna region of that country following a massive avalanche. The incident occurred last Friday and while the whereabouts of some travelers have been confirmed since then, the location of other hikers remains a mystery. Search and rescue operations are continuing at the start of the week in the hopes of locating some of the missing individuals, who may be safe and sound in one of the many villages found in the area.
This winter has seen particularly heavy snowfall in the Annapurna region so far, which is believed to have contributed to the avalanche last week. Snowy conditions have been common throughout December and January, which is typically a time when the number of trekkers in the area drops off significantly. Still, there are always plenty of hikers willing to brave the cold and snowy conditions in the Himalaya, as the trails are much less crowded and full during those months. The weather conditions also make it challenging to communicate with remote villages, which is why there is hope that the missing travelers will still be found alive and well.
The six missing trekkers are part of a group that was organized by a Korean adventure travel company. Four members of the group, who were identified by their first names only, were traveling with two Nepali guides. The six-person team was traveling in the Deurali area last Friday, which is where and when the avalanche occurred Since then, there has been no updates on their progress or whereabouts, which has led authorities to fear the worst.
At the time, four Chinese trekkers were also reported missing, but they have since turned up. On Sunday, those travelers were in contact with Nepalese officials, indicating that they were safe and had simply continued on with their trek. The hope is that the Korean group, and their two local guides, have done the same. In fact, they may not even know that SAR teams are looking for them and are just continuing on their schedule.
So far, no one else has been reported missing from the avalanche. Hopefully the Korean travelers will turn up in a few days, unharmed and in good spirits. Fingers crossed.