Swedes missing in Himalayas

Two Swedish climbers are missing after an avalanche in Nepal, authorities there say. The two Swedes were joined by a British citizen and three sherpas. They were climbing Ama Dablam, a mountain in the Himalayas. At the time of the avalanche, the group was asleep at 8,612 metres altitude.

The two Swedish climbers, a 27-year-old and 40-year-old, are from Uddevalla and Strömstad. The British climber is 32 years old.

“The avalanche hit the camp at around midnight,” said Lok Bahadur Khatri, spokesman for the tourist authority.

Helicopters were sent to the area and the pilots reported that they could only see shoes and clothes from the air; there were no signs of the climbers.

The 41-year-old Swede wrote on his website on Monday that only he and the 27-year old, together with a number of sherpas, would continue to the summit. An experienced guide had decided to turn back, together with another Swede.

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed at 4pm on Tuesday that the two Swedes are missing on Ama Dablam. The ministry is now trying to contact the men’s families in Sweden.

“The third Swede reported them missing,” said John Hillstierna at the foreign ministry.

“He had been affected by altitude sickness and was forced to abandon the climb. He later learned that there had been an avalanche and contact the consulate in Kathmandu,” Hillstierna said.