Search for Lost Mountaineers Ends

      October 31, 2011 11:16

      The search for missing Korean mountaineer Park Young-seok and team members Shin Dong-min and Kang Ki-seok ended on Saturday in the Himalayan mountain range of Annapurna in Nepal with no sign of the lost party coming to light.

      "We decided to end our search for the missing mountaineers as winter is approaching and snow and rocks continue to fall in the area where they are suspected to have gone missing," said Lee In-jeong, head of the Korean Alpine Federation.

      Park Young-seok (marked in circle) waves as he ascends the southern side of Annapurna in Nepal on Oct. 18. /Courtesy of the Korean Alpine Federation

      Lee and the families of the missing mountaineers held a memorial service at the base camp of Annapurna some 4,800 m above sea level on Sunday.

      A memorial altar will be set up at Seoul National University Hospital in Seoul on Tuesday and a joint funeral is scheduled for Thursday.

      From left, Shin Dong-min, Kang Ki-seok and Park Young-seok /Courtesy of the Korean Alpine Federation

      The intrepid mountaineers went missing on Oct. 18 after reporting hazardous conditions to base camp. Search and rescue teams toiled for about two weeks, even venturing to the bottom of the hazardous Bergschrund (a certain kind of large crevasse) in hope of locating the men, who were believed trapped there. The party had been attempting to blaze a new trail along the southern side of Annapurna.

      Park will be remembered as the first climber in the world to complete a so-called adventurers' Grand Slam after he scaled 14 peaks over 8,000 m, including the highest mountains on each continent, and visited both the North and South Pole.

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