Autumn 2014 | Two Slovaks and Three Nepalese Missing on Dhaulagiri

The severe weather stimulated by cyclone ‘Hudhud’ recedes in Nepal, leaving a catastrophe of great magnitude behind. Blizzard and avalanches killed several trekkers, climbers and natives in Western Region, whereas dozens are still missing. Rescue operation continues for retrieval of bodies and search and evacuation of missing persons.

An enormous avalanche hit Dhaulagiri BC on Tuesday, where the Slovak climbers was waiting for improvement in weather to resume the climb. They had already established C1 and C2 on the mountain. It’s reported that two Slovaks and three Nepalese have gone missing after the avalanche. Other stranded members of the expedition (07 Slovaks and 01 Czech) have been evacuated to Pokhara. Exact details of the accident are still vague.

Slovakian Expedition was only team on Dhaulagiri, this season. Image

Slovakian's website expedition.sk wrote on Wednesday night:

"We have new information directly from Sonam Sherpa, from the agency that provided services to our expedition in Nepal. Sonam unfortunately confirmed that Jan Matlák and Vladimir Švancár along with three Nepalese helpers remain missing after the avalanche. Other members of the expedition were flown to Pokhara by helicopter. Three local Sherpa unsuccessfully searched for them today (Wednesday). Tomorrow (Thursday), two members of expedition will also join them.”


Nepalese weather base camp
Photo from Base Camp. Source

Missing Nepalese have been identified as Bhoj Kumar Rai of Mauling VDC-5, Okhaldhunga; Dorje Sherpa of Juling VDC-2, and Gopal Rai of Gudin VDC-8, Solukhumbu district.

Last dispatch from Slovakians read, “Snowing, snowing, still snowing .... still waiting in BC for better weather :( We all believe that the weather will improve.

Ján Matlák (left) and Vladimír Švancár (right); File photo

Ján Matlák is a climbing and ski-mountaineering instructor. He led several expeditions to Tatra, Alps, Caucasus and Pamir. In Himalayas, he has attempted Shishapangma and Annapurna. Vladimír Švancár is also a seasoned mountaineering professional with multiple winter and summer ascents in Tatra, Alps and Pamir. 

Update:
Unfortunately, the hope of finding either of five missing persons (Jan Matlák, Vladimir Švancár, Bhoj Kumar Rai, Dorje Sherpa and Gopal Rai) alive didn't materialize. expedition.sk reports that the bodies of  Slovak climbers and the BC staff were found at Dhaulagiri BC, today. It appears that only Jan Matlák and Vladimir Švancár were inside their tent when avalanche came down. Other members of the expedition were in "social" tent which avalanche probably didn't hit with full force.

Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of deceased men. Rest in peace.

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