Helicopter Rescues Entire Expedition From World’s 7th-Highest Mountain

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Helicopters scrambled to rescue 25 people from Dhaulagiri base camp after heavy snow blanketed the area.

On Sunday, a 23-member trekking expedition and two other tourists required rescue at Dhaulagiri base camp (15,091 feet), with helicopters evacuating 17 Nepali expedition staff and eight visiting hikers to nearby Jomsom, Nepal, Mt. Everest Today has reported.

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Heavy snowfall forced the large-scale rescue in the Gandaki Province of western Nepal, as a trekking expedition went awry. The District Police Office reported rescuing the group, which had left Kathmandu in early November.

According to the reporting, a local tourist agency departed on November 8 with four Belgian clients. On November 11, two Spanish clients joined the party.

Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh-tallest mountain at 26,794 feet, is 186 miles from Kathmandu by road. The trek requires over 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

Dhaulagiri, as seen from Poon Hill in Nepal; (photo/Gerd Eichmann)

A sherpa reported that snow started falling on the group at French Pass. When they reached base camp, two unguided Spanish tourists joined them. At some point, snow and inclement weather overwhelmed the party, and a helicopter rescue ensued.

No further details are available — although the 25 people have been reported successfully rescued, their condition is unknown. In all, local police have carried out three helicopter rescues in the Dhaulagiri base camp area within the past month. Heavy snowfall has played a principal role in each incident.

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