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Everest summiteer missing in Lhotse Shar avalanche
12:12 p.m. EDT Oct 9, 2003
Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism confirmed that South Korean climbers Park Joo Hoon and Hwang Sun Dug were swept away in an avalanche on Lhotse Shar last Sunday. Park and Hwang reached an altitude of 8,250m on the 8,400m peak when the avalanche hit. They have not been found. The two climbers were part of an eleven-member South Korean expedition attempting to climb Lhotse Shar from the Southeast route. Two other expedition members and Nepali Sherpa escaped without harm.

Lhotse Shar is one of the three “summits” situated on the Lhotse massif, which is comprised of the main peak Lhotse (8,516m), Lhotse Middle, (8,414m), first climbed two years ago by a Russian team, and Lhotse Shar, first ascended in 1970.

On May 21st this year, Park summited Mount Everest via the North Ridge as a member of the joint Chinese-South Korean expedition. The team made the first live television broadcast from the summit.

Several deadly avalanches have taken a heavy toll this autumn. Fourteen climbers perished in just the last couple of weeks. Nine climbers from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police mountaineering team were killed in an avalanche while returning after the summit of Panchachuli peak in late September.

An avalanche on Shisha Pangma claimed the lives of French climbers Philippe Renard and Antoine de Choudens on September 30. De Choudens was known as, the unofficial “King of the Three Poles” for skiing to the North and South Poles unsupported and also climbing Everest without oxygen.

Japanese climber Ayumi Nozawai was killed in an avalanche last Thursday on the Himalayan peak of Mount Himlung Himal. On the same day, Sherpas from Wally Berg’s Everest expedition were caught in an avalanche on the Lhotse Face at 6800m. Everyone escaped serious injury, but the onrushing snow swept Nima Tashi 300m down the face. Only a week before, Berg’s Sherpa team just missed another avalanche that buried supplies and gear between Camps I and 2. Berg reported that it had been snowing steadily for 48 hours on the Lhotse Face just prior to the second avalanche. They decided to wait for things to settle before proceeding back up.

Image of Lhotse - ExplorersWeb Files.

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