19 times Everest conqueror missing in Himalayas

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A leading Nepali climber, who has scaled Mount Everest 19 times, has gone missing after an avalanche hit members of an expedition to the Himalayas in eastern Nepal, reports Reuters quoting his hiking agency Sunday.

Chuwang Nima, 43, was part of an expedition which included British climbers trying to summit the 7,129-metre (23,389-feet) Mount Baruntse. The avalanche struck on Saturday while he was fixing ropes at an altitude of about 7,045 metres (23,114 feet).

“It was a big avalanche that swept him in windy weather conditions,” said Jeevan Ghimire of the Sherpa Shangrila Trek and Expedition agency.

“A search and rescue operation will be carried out by a helicopter on Monday,” Ghimire told Reuters. The other climbers are safe, he said.

The only other climber to top Nima’s ascents to Mount Everest is Apa Sherpa, who has climbed the world’s tallest peak 20 times.

Hundreds of mountaineers go to dozens of Himalayan mountains in Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks, including Mount Everest, every year.

About 250 climbers have died on the icy slopes of Mount Everest since it was first climbed in 1953.

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