Sad news out of Nepal today, where the bodies of two missing trekkers have been located after months of searching and speculation as to their fate. The duo were believed to have been caught in an avalanche back in January, along with at least four other hikers, although until now their had been no confirmation of exactly where they were at the time of the accident. Last week, the group’s two Nepali guides were also found on the trail not far from where the South Koreans has been located.
The group had been hiking in the Annapurna region of the Himalaya when the avalanche struck the trail a few months back. There were a number of trekking groups in the area at the time, but most were later safely accounted for. After the six members of this group failed to turn up after a day or two, officials feared the worst. Search parties were organized at the time, but the conditions weren’t conducive to a timely sweep of the trail, which was still covered in heavy snow. Eventually it became evident that they had most likely been caught up in that snow, losing their lives in the process.
As the spring thaw has hit the Himalaya, the snows there have begun to retreat, revealing the bodies of several of the missing trekkers. On Sunday, helicopters were used to retrieve their remains and fly them back to Kathmandu, where their families can finally find some closure. Unfortunately there are others who are still waiting, as there are at least two other trekkers and a guide who have yet to be found.
At the moment, the trails in Nepal remain nearly empty except for traffic from the locals. With the coronavirus shutting things down this spring, there has been additional time and resources available for cleaning up the most used trekking routes. For now, the Nepalis will see this as a silver lining in what has otherwise been a very difficult year so far.
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