Austrian climber missing in Himalayas: Nepal official

A 27-year-old Austrian climber has been missing for three days in Nepal's Himalayas.

Kathmandu: A 27-year-old Austrian climber has been missing for three days in Nepal's Himalayas after falling during an expedition, an official said today, with a rescue attempt hampered by bad weather.

 The mountaineer, part of a team of three, was descending after a successful summit of the 6,839-metre (22,438-foot) high Nilgiri South peak in the Annapurna massif when the accident occurred on Monday.

 "He slipped and fell down 700-800 metres. His team members have reached base camp safely and are returning (to Kathmandu)," Nepal tourism official Gyanendra Shrestha told AFP.

 "We have tried to send a helicopter to the accident site but have not been able to because of bad weather," he said.

The incident follows the death this month of a 51-year-old Austrian mountaineer as he was descending Nepal's Manaslu peak, the world's eighth-highest mountain.

Experts say climbing in the Himalayas in autumn is more dangerous than the spring due to high winds and lower temperatures.

 The risks are higher than normal at the moment because of regular aftershocks from a massive earthquake in April that killed nearly 8,900 people in the mountainous nation, increasing the risk of avalanches.

A one-fingered Japanese climber, who was attempting to make first summit of Mount Everest since the deadly quake, abandoned his expedition this month because of heavy snow and strong winds.

Mountaineering is a major revenue-earner for impoverished Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 peaks over 8,000 metres.

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