Bodies of three French climbers lost in Himalayas identified: Nepal police

Bodies of three French climbers lost in Himalayas identified: Nepal police

Bad weather hampered efforts to find the men and a member of the team trying to locate them last week

A search team recovered and identified the bodies of three French climbers who went missing in a remote corner of the Himalayas last month, Nepali police said Monday.

"The professional rescue team has brought the bodies of three French missing climbers to Lukla," Rishi Raj Dhakal, an inspector at the Solukhumbu district police office, told AFP.

Earlier on Wednesday, rescuers suspended their hunt for three French climbers missing in the Himalayas after an avalanche, with little hope of finding the men alive when the search resumes later this week.

The group were attempting to scale Mingbo Eiger, a 6,000-metre (19,700-feet) peak near Mount Everest, and were last heard from via satellite phone from their camp on October 26.

Bodies of three French climbers lost in Himalayas identified: Nepal police
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Bad weather hampered efforts to find the men and a member of the team trying to locate them last week said they could have been buried under a depth of snow the size of a five-floor building.

"A helicopter along with the rescue team of professional mountain guides has been sent to bring those bodies," he added.

The three young climbers — Thomas Arfi, Louis Pachoud and Gabriel Miloche — were part of an eight-strong expedition. They had split into two groups to tackle different summits.

The men appeared to have abandoned their summit attempt and turned back when the avalanche hit.

Climbers have started returning to Nepal after the coronavirus pandemic forced a complete shutdown of its mountaineering industry last year and devastated the tourism-dependent economy.

The Himalayan nation of 30 million re-opened to tourists in September after scrapping quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreigners.

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