Mountaineering Tragedy in Lorestan Province

Red Crescent search and rescue teams in operation on December 9
Red Crescent search and rescue teams in operation on December 9

A group of 14 mountaineers from Khorasan Razavi Province ascended the Oshtorankuh peak in Doroud City, Lorestan Province in western Iran, accompanied by a local guide. Some of them never made it back and were buried under an avalanche on December 6.

Six mountaineers survived but eight bodies have been found up until December 10 with one person still missing. Alireza Ameli, Morteza Gholampour, Majid Torabzadeh, Amanollah Jokar, Nasser Akbari, Mahshid Jan-Mohamadi, Akram Haqqani and Ali Qasemzadeh were found dead and the search for Ali Hosseini continues in the freezing temperature, IRNA reported.

The group ascended the peak on Wednesday and took the summer track to descend the mountain despite all the safety recommendations given by Iran Mountaineering and Sport Climbing Federation office in Lorestan.

On the way back the team separated into two groups, one headed down to the foot of the mountain and the other decided to rest at the peak. Jokar, the local guide, helped the group reach a shelter under a heavy blizzard.

But when guiding the second group, the avalanche struck and nine mountaineers were trapped. Eight bodies have been found and search for the last person continues. The chance of finding the missing person is remote due to the avalanche size and freaky weather conditions.

Mountaineers had been warned about the unusually bad climate conditions in the Lorestan region and told to stay away from the towering peaks. But the state news agency says the ill-fated team did not heed the advice.

President Hassan Rouhani and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Masoud Soltanifar sympathized with those who lost their loved ones.

“May the valiant mountaineers who ascended to heaven while climbing Oshtorankuh find eternal peace,” Rouhani wrote on his Instagram feed.

Oshtorankuh is the highest mount in Lorstan at 4,050 meters above sea level. Located in the Zagros range, the peak attracts many climbers throughout the year.


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