As Santosh Pokharel from Republica reports
In mid-March, a Korean tourist Ji Ae went missing while she was on her way back to Pokhara after Annapurna Base Camp trek. After eight hours of the ‘disappearance’, a search team rescued her. She had lost her way as she had chosen to tread on an uncommon route during the return.
Last week, police rescued two Czech Republic tourists from the Dhaulagiri trekking route. When rescued it came to fore that Kamil Morovic had broken his leg and Jiri Kalabin was severely injured while they trekking in Aabalbari of Gharjhoba Rural Municipality – 2.
On February 20 last year, Corneli Van Veggel of The Netherlands went missing while she was trekking along the Annapurna range. Her whereabouts remain unknown. Veggel, who had last contacted her family members on February 20, had aspired to climb Mardi Mountain. But since contacting her family, she has never been in contact any one so far.
The same month, Rajesh Agrawal of India also went missing from Pokhara. He had called his wife from the town but since then he has also not been in touch with any of his family or friends.
French national Nicolas Fin Guardamino who was trekking on the Annapurna circuit has not been in contact since March 3. His family members have expressed worries over his whereabouts and urged the government to expedite the search.
Israeli national Amit Mosche Reichman has not been in contact for the last one and half year. While trekking along the Mardi Mountain route, he had last contacted his friends on 17 October on 2016.
These are examples of the missing tourists in the Annapurna range. Some have even lost their life during trekking. For the searchers looking out for the missing, the question remains: Where are they?
According to Deepakraj Adhikari, president of western regional office of TAAN, trekkers who set on their journey all alone are in high risk of going missing. Going solo is very much dangerous, he said.
“Solo trekkers are going missing at an alarming rate. This is getting quite dangerous,” Adhikari said. “We have been warning them not to trek alone. We discourage them from taking such an extremely risky move. But some of them continue to do it,” he added.