Avalanche on Dhaulagiri: three Japanese climbers and one Sherpa missing

Posted: Sep 30, 2010 02:28 pm EDT

Story update 1:10PM: An avalanche hit Japan's Association of Professional Guides team on Dhaulagiri on Tuesday, Jusuke Hirai reports. Osamu Tanabe, 49, Toshio Yamamoto, 36, and Daisuke Honda, 32, plus Pasang Gyelu Sherpa are missing since then.

Two other members have been rescued alive, according to Yusuke, and have just caught a flight back to Japan. A chopper was assigned to search the area today and some Japanese guides might travel to Nepal this weekend, hoping to help in searching labors.

Osamu Tanabe, 49, is one of the leading high altitude climbers in Japan. He has summited nine 8000ers, among them a winterly climb on Everest in 1993 (Osamu summited on December 20, one day before the beginning of calendar winter). After attempts in 2001 and 2003, he led the team whose members climbed Lhotse's south face in winter 2007 (the team didn't reach the summit, but climbed the entire face).

He also climbed Nemjung Peak West Face last
year with Shinshu University Alpine Club.

Note: Contrary to previous reports, the missing climbers are not from Tokyo. Tanabe comes from the city of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture; Honda lives in the village of Hakuba, Nagano Prefecture, and Yamamoto is from Asahi, Toyama Prefecture.


Dhaulagiri, 8,167m.
courtesy Edurne Pasaban, SOURCE