It's over: search for Korean climbers called off

Posted: Oct 31, 2011 03:00 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) The thorough and dangerous effort to find the three missing climbers on Annapurna is over. KAF finally called off the rescue operation for Mr. Park and his team at 12:00 on October 28. All rescue team members retreaded to BC three hours later.

Photos of the three Korean mountaineers were displayed in a temple in Kathmandu, Nepal. "Even though it is very hard to accept the fact they are dead, it is time to say good bye," wrote ExplorersWeb's correspondent in Korea Kyu-Dam Lee.

"Good bye Mr. Park, Good bye Mr, Shin. Good bye Mr, Gang."

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. 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 party combing the area in 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 teams including a number of climbers dispatched from Korea searched the crevasse throughout last week. Led by Jae-Soo Kim three small teams investigated the crevasse between October 26-27, in whiteout and amid frequent avalanches. The effort was finally called off on October 28.

If there is such a thing as an Explorers' Grand Slam, Mr Park was it. He summited all 14, 8000ers, recently made a new route on Everest, and skied to both Poles. No other mountaineer/polar explorer has matched Mr Park's combined achievements.

#Mountaineering #topstory

The thorough and dangerous effort to find the three missing climbers on Annapurna is over.
Image by KAF courtesy KAF
Photos of the three Korean mountaineers in a KTM temple.
courtesy Kyu Dam Lee, SOURCE
Mr Park climbed with Miss Oh (right) in her early Himalaya days. She wrote an open letter when he perished.
courtesy KAF, SOURCE