(Angela Benavides) Annapurna rescuers ventured yesterday down to the bottom of the crevasse where Mr. Park and his climbing parters might have fallen, but found no trace of the missing climbers.
The current rescue team, led by 14x8000er summiteer Kim Jae-Soo, comprises 19 men (5 S. Kroeans and 14 Sherpas), divided into three smaller groups. Kim had flown from Korea earlier this week, appointed by Korean Alpine Federation for his wide experience and good acclimatization (just back from Cho Oyu).
Conditions on Annapurna have changed to clear skies but bitter cold. The search operation inside the crevasse was extremely risky, KAF reports, due to constant falling of ice and rocks.
The climbers lost contact fairly soon into the climb and low down on the mountain. Attempting a new route on Annapurna south face, notorious among world mountaineers for many fatal avalanches, Park Young- Seok, Shin Dong-Min and Gang Gi-Seok decided to abort already at around 6400 meters due to bad conditions.
In the last radio contact with BC on October 18, the men said they were experiencing heavy rock fall on the face and were descending.
A Sherpa search party combing the area on the following days reportedly found a rope buried under 4 meter of snow. The men were assumed to have been swept by an avalanche and/or fallen in the a bergschrund (huge crevasse opening at the bottom of Anna face). Two search-rescue teams have been searching for them.
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