Renowned SKorean climber missing on Nepal trek

AP News
Posted: Oct 20, 2011 9:01 AM
Renowned SKorean climber missing on Nepal trek

A renowned South Korean climber and two of his partners have disappeared while trying to summit Mount Annapurna, official and rescuers said Thursday.

Dipendra Poudel of Nepal's mountaineering department in Katmandu said rescuers have not been able to find any trace of the three South Korean climbers missing since Tuesday.

Park Young-seok has climbed the world's 14 tallest mountains and reached both the north and south poles. He first climbed Annapurna in 1996. It is the 10th tallest and considered a technically difficult climb.

The department identified the two other missing South Korean climbers as Kang Ki-seok and Shin Dong-min.

A colleague who equipped their expedition said the trio last contacted base camp Tuesday afternoon while heading up the peak. Ang Dorjee is now coordinating rescue efforts from Katmandu.

Dorjee said a rescue helicopter did not see any signs of the mountaineers on the slopes.

Park was part of a seven-member team that was trying to carve out a new route to the summit of Annapurna. He had made the attempt in 2008 but was unsuccessful.

Dorjee said they would continue the search but was having difficulty communicating with the search party.

The Korean Alpine Federation in Seoul said that a team of four South Korean mountain climbers will head to Annapurna on Friday morning to aid the rescue.

The climbers are already in Nepal and decided to suspend their own expedition plans to help the rescue, the federation said in a statement. The climbers include Kim Hyung-il, another renowned climber who had planned to climb Cholatse in Nepalese Himalaya.


Associated Press writer Sam Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.