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KATHMANDU: A team of high-altitude sherpas resumed a search yesterday for three climbers missing in an avalanche on one of the world’s tallest mountains, police said, with almost no hope that they would be rescued.
The two French mountaineers and a Canadian were part of a group hit by a wall of snow in their tents near the peak of the 8,156-metre (26,759-foot) Manaslu in the early hours of Sunday.
“So far, we don’t have any clue about the three missing mountaineers. We have dispatched a team of five sherpas on a search operation,” district police chief Basanta Bahadur Kunwar said.
Experts say climbers buried in an avalanche have 20 minutes to be dug out before they die from hypothermia or asphyxiation. Police also fear they could have been swept into a crevasse, meaning their bodies might never be recovered.
An air rescue operation was called off on Monday, more than 24 hours after the climbers went missing.
Kunwar said the sherpas were using snow shovels, ice axes and bamboo sticks during the search.