KATHMANDU: Five climbers, including the first Hungarian to scale Mount Everest, are missing and feared dead on Nepal’s treacherous Kangchenjunga mountain, tourism officials said on Thursday.
The climbers—two from Hun-gary, two from Nepal and one from South Korea—went missing on Monday afternoon as they attempted to climb the 8,586-meter peak, the officials said.
“We are not sure what caused their disappearance—it could be an avalanche or a fall,” said Dipendra Paudel, an official at Nepal’s tourism ministry.
Kangchenjunga, which lies to the east of the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest, is the world’s third-highest mountain and straddles Nepal’s border with India.
The climbers were last seen at a level of 7,800 meters, Paudel said. “There is a very slim chance of their survival.”
The missing men were iden-tified by Nepalese tourism au-thorities as Zsolt Eross, 45, and Peter Kiss, 27, of Hungary, South Korean Park Nam-su, 47, and two Nepalese guides Bibash Gurung, 24, and Pho Dorchi Sherpa, 23.
Eross was the first Hungarian to climb Everest. This expedition was to be his tenth attempt to summit an 8,000-meter peak.
Every May hundreds of clim-bers attempt to scale peaks in the Himalayas when weather conditions are at their best.
The Kangchenjunga peak has one of the highest death rates for climbers, according to the Himalayan Database, a statistical hub kept by Kathmandu-based mountaineering expert Elizabeth Hawley.