This week (October 12-18, 2014), the headlines in Israeli newspapers were not about the Palestinian or the Israeli-Arab conflict. For most of the week, the headlines were about an unexpected snow blizzard and the tragic avalanches that followed it in Nepal’s Annapurna trail, a place as far away from Israel as possible.
Thousands of tourists travel to Nepal in October to explore the beautiful mountain passes. Many of them found themselves caught in an unexpected blizzard, caused by a monsoon in the Indian ocean. Hundreds of hikers were left stranded on the mountains when their local guides either deserted them, were stranded with them, or were killed in the avalanches. Among the stranded were many Israelis hikers. Rescue efforts are currently in progress.
So far, 384 people have been rescued, 216 of them foreigners. It is Nepal’s worst-ever trekking disaster. 40 people were confirmed dead, among them 4 Israelis.
The Annapurna trail is roughly 241km (150 miles). It takes about three weeks to complete the trail.The trail ascends to 5,416m (17,776ft) at the Thorung La Pass. The trail passes Mount Annapurna, the world’s 10th highest mountain and one of the most dangerous.