Bodies Found Near Dhaulagiri

“We found two dead bodies at the French Pass,” Herve Barmasse told La gazzetta Dello Sport. “They were Nepali porters, killed in an avalanche.”

Barmasse and David Goetteler found the bodies during one of their training sessions and notified Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism immediately.

Victims of autumn snowstorms

It took some days to find out who they really were. The only documents on the bodies belonged to three Korean trekkers, but the victims were actually the Koreans’ guide and one other staff member.

Authorities will likely recover the bodies by helicopter before another snowfall buries their remains, “so their families don’t have to wait,” wrote Barmasse.

David Goettler at the French Pass, where the bodies were found. Photo: Herve Barmasse


The tragic event probably took place during last fall’s massive snowfall, when high passes turned into a death trap not only for climbers on mountains such as Manaslu, but also for trekkers crossing from valley to valley.

David Goettler (in yellow) and Herve Barmasse (in red) acclimatizing in the Khumbu some weeks ago. Photo: David Goettler


Meanwhile, the jet stream has not let up. Barmasse and Goettler, determined to climb Dhaulagiri in winter in a single, alpine-style push, continue to wait it out. But time is closing in: They are scheduled to leave Nepal in two weeks. So far, forecasts show no reason for optimism.

Little hope for Cho Oyu’s South Side team

Meanwhile, the Cho Oyu team looks increasingly unlikely to return to the mountain. “Looks like the weather isn’t letting us go back,” Gelje Sherpa said. “The snow will begin soon in February.”

Adriana Brownlee is already detailing her plans for this year, and both Cho Oyu and Shishapangma have been rescheduled for Tibet in the spring. She hopes to climb with Kristin Harila, who is already home in Norway.

Adriana Brownlee and Gelje Sherpa. Photo: Adriana Brownlee/Instagram


However, the CTMA (China-Tibet Mountaineering Association) has not made any move to open the mountain to foreigners. International agencies consulted by ExplorersWeb said they are confident Cho Oyu will open, but only in autumn. Shishapangma might be similar but again, nothing is confirmed.

Brownlee is also aiming for the two Gasherbrums in the summer. She expects that she will continue to climb with Gelje Sherpa.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.