Dhaulagiri Avalanche: Two Slovaks, Three Nepalese Missing (Updated)

Dhaulagiri Avalanche: Two Slovaks, Three Nepalese Missing (Updated)

Posted: Oct 16, 2014 08:24 am EDT

(By Raheel Adnan/Update added at the end of story at 09AM) The severe weather stimulated by cyclone ‘Hudhud’ recedes in Nepal, leaving a catastrophe of great magnitude behind. Blizzard and avalanches killed several trekkers, climbers and natives in Western Region, whereas dozens are still missing. Rescue operation continues for retrieval of bodies and search and evacuation of missing persons.


An enormous avalanche hit Dhaulagiri BC on Tuesday, where the Slovak climbers were waiting for improvement in weather to resume the climb. They had already established C1 and C2 on the mountain. It’s reported that two Slovaks and three Nepalese have gone missing after the avalanche. Other stranded members of the expedition (07 Slovaks and 01 Czech) have been evacuated to Pokhara. Exact details of the accident are still vague.


Slovakian's website expedition.sk wrote on Wednesday night:

"We have new information directly from Sonam Sherpa, from the agency that provided services to our expedition in Nepal. Sonam unfortunately confirmed that Jan Matlák and Vladimir Švancár along with three Nepalese helpers remain missing after the avalanche. Other members of the expedition were flown to Pokhara by helicopter. Three local Sherpa unsuccessfully searched for them today (Wednesday). Tomorrow (Thursday), two members of expedition will also join them.”


Missing Nepalese have been identified as Bhoj Kumar Rai of Mauling VDC-5, Okhaldhunga; Dorje Sherpa of Juling VDC-2, and Gopal Rai of Gudin VDC-8, Solukhumbu district.

Last dispatch from Slovakians read, “Snowing, snowing, still snowing .... still waiting in BC for better weather :( We all believe that the weather will improve.”


Ján Matlák is a climbing and ski-mountaineering instructor. He led several expeditions to Tatra, Alps, Caucasus and Pamir. In Himalayas, he has attempted Shishapangma and Annapurna. Vladimír Švancár is also a seasoned mountaineering professional with multiple winter and summer ascents in Tatra, Alps and Pamir.





The hope of finding either of five missing persons (Jan Matlák, Vladimir Švancár, Bhoj Kumar Rai, Dorje Sherpa and Gopal Rai) alive didn't materialize. expedition.sk reports that the bodies of Slovak climbers and the BC staff were found at Dhaulagiri BC, today. It appears that only Jan Matlák and Vladimir Švancár were inside their tent when avalanche came down. Other members of the expedition were in "social" tent which avalanche probably didn't hit with full force.



Based in Lahore, Pakistan, mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is a reporter for Explorersweb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.




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Slovakian Expedition was only team on Dhaulagiri, this season. They had established C1 and C2, and were waiting for improvement in weather to set up C3.
Photo from Dhaulagiri Base Camp
Jan Matlak (left) and Vladimir Svancar (right)