Top 10 Avalanches with the Highest Death Toll in Nepal

Last updated on 2022-11-26
Top 10 Avalanches with the Highest Death Toll in Nepal

Nepal is a mountainous nation where many mountaineers come to discover the beauty of the Himalayas. The avalanche catastrophe occurs during the peak trekking season. In October, thousands of visitors visit Nepal, many to experience its high altitude mountain passes and pristine beauty. Meanwhile, the trekkers are caught off guard by a sudden heavy snowstorm. Avalanches have caused considerable damage to Nepal's tourism industry in the past, with officials concerned about the wider negative message they carry. Trekking and climbing are the industry's mainstays and a major source of foreign cash for Nepal. Here are the top ten avalanches in Nepal with the highest death toll.

*The data is ranked based on the research of The Everest List.

10. 2053 BS - Lhotse Face Avalanche

2053 BS - Lhotse Face Avalanche
Image Source: Mt Everest Today

The 1996 Mount Everest disaster occurred on 10th and 11th of May, 1996. The nine climbers caught in a blizzard died on Mount Everest while attempting to descend from the summit from the Lhotse Face. At 8,516m, Lhotse is the 4th highest mountain. The summit sits next to Mount Everest. The two are connected via the South Col. Lhotse. The Everest climbers share their normal route to Camp 3, after which their paths diverge. Four members of the Adventure Consultants expedition died, while Scott Fischer who was the lead of the Mountain Madness expedition also perished. Three officers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police also died in the avalanche. The 1996 disaster was publicized greatly to the point where after the disaster, several survivors wrote memoirs which became bestsellers.

  • No. of Deaths : 9
  • Year : 1996
  • Location : Lhotse Face of Everest

9. 2029 BS - Mt. Dhaulagiri Avalanche

2029 BS - Mt. Dhaulagiri Avalanche
Image Source: The Himalayan

One of the most recent avalanches on the list, the 2018 avalanche on Dhaulagiri at the base camp of Mt. Gurja which is situated on the south face of Mt. Dhaulagiri cost the life of 9 climbers. A heavy snowstorm followed by the avalanche buried the base camp in Mt. Gurja at 3,500m. A climbing Sherpa was reportedly missing in the incident after the avalanche hit a seven-member team of Sherpa while fixing a route from Camp II to Camp III. The missing was identified as Dawa Geljen Sherpa of Makalu. The avalanche occurred at around 11 am on Sunday and lasted for about 30 minutes. Due to the avalanche, locals living in Kowang, Larjung, Naurikot, Boksi Khola of Thasang Gapa had to flee.

  • No. of Deaths : 9
  • Year : 2018
  • Location : Mt. Dhaulagiri

8. 2037 BS - North Face Avalanche

2037 BS - North Face Avalanche
Image Source: Honey Guide

Over the course of a year a total of 10 people were killed due to avalanches on the North Face of Mt. Everest. Towards the end of May in 1973, an avalanche killed three members of an Australian expedition trying to climb the unconquered north face of Annapurna III. The avalanche occurred on 7:15 am cascading down the 10th highest mountain killed a two Nepalese porters and a South Korean climber, Yang Kun Chen who were sleeping in their tents. However, a man buried in the snow survived. The expedition on Mount Annapurna III had been abandoned after the 24th of September. The other members of the climb returned to the capital on the same week. The second camp on the mountain had been hit by numerous avalanches before the accident.

  • No. of Deaths : 10
  • Year : 1980
  • Location : North Face of Annapurna III

7. 2029 BS - Mt. Manaslu Avalanche

2029 BS - Mt. Manaslu Avalanche
Image Source: Highlights Tourism

In 1972, fifteen climbers of a South Korean mountaineering expedition were killed by the avalanche at the peak of Mt. Manaslu. At the height of 26,658 foot, the disaster was one of the worst in climbing history. Among the team there were 15 victims among which 10 were Nepalese Sherpas, 4 were Koreans and 1 was Japanese. 7 members of the expedition were not struck by the avalanche as they were not in the camp. A Korean survivor Kim Yae Sup (21 years old) suffered from frostbite and internal injuries. He recounted the experience from the disaster from a hospital bed. Kim was flown by a helicopter with his eldest brother, who was the expedition leader.

  • No. of Deaths : 15
  • Year : 1972
  • Location : Mt. Manaslu

6. 2054 BS - Everest Avalanches

2054 BS - Everest Avalanches
Image Source: WEM Journal

The second most deadliest season for climbers, in 1997, 19 people faced their deaths trying to summit Everest. On September 21st, an avalanche fell near the Nuptse’s north fall. The avalanche struck a group of climbers on the South Col. It swept three men, two Sherpas and a Frenchman. One of the Sherpas was the renowned Lobsang Jangbu. He had summited Everest four times. The other Sherpa named Dawa was with the South Korean Everest team and the Frenchman Yves Bouchon was a member of a French-Belgian-Swiss Everest expedition. .

  • No. of Deaths : 19
  • Year : 1997
  • Location : Everest region, Everest

5. 2046 BS - Mt. Pumori Avalanche

2046 BS - Mt. Pumori Avalanche
Image Source: Explorersweb

Mt Pumori is situated at Nepal-Tibet border, the summit reaches 7161m. Many trekkers summit the mountain to see the view of the high Tibetan Plateau and the Western part of Everest. In 1989 a team of Spanish climbers were killed while climbing the mountain. A total of 20 climbers met their death in the same year due to lots of avalanches on Pumori and near the Everest region.

  • No. of Deaths : 20
  • Year : 1989
  • Location : Mt. Pumori/ Everest

4. 2062 BS - French Expedition Base Camp Avalanche

2062 BS - French Expedition Base Camp Avalanche
Image Source: India Today

Kang Guru withdrew from the advanced base camp at 6,800m on October 20, 2005, because of severe snowfall, and retreated to the lower base camp at 4,200m. The team had just gone into their tents for tea at 5 p.m. when the avalanche struck. Dawa Lama and three porters escaped, but seven French climbers and 11 Nepalis died. Nine of those killed were from the Gorkha village of Larpak. The remains were identified by a French forensic squad using dental data and flown back to France, where the Nepalis were turned over to family members. The overall number of deaths was around 21.

  • No. of Deaths : 21
  • Year : 2005
  • Location : French Expedition Base Camp

3. 2072 BS - Mt. Everest Base Camp Avalanche

2072 BS - Mt. Everest Base Camp Avalanche
Image Source: ABC News

Mount Everest is around 220 kilometers east of the epicenter, and between 700 and 1,000 people were on or near the summit when the earthquake occurred, including 359 climbers at Base Camp, many of whom had returned despite the season's cancellation in 2014. Several big avalanches erupted on and around the mountain as a result of the earthquake. One avalanche came into Base Camp and blew numerous tents across the Khumbu Glacier into the lower Icefall, originating on the adjacent summit of Pumori. The remains of 19 mountaineers were found from the South Base Camp by an Indian Army climbing squad, while at least 61 stranded climbers were evacuated off the peak. There were a total of 23 fatalities.

  • No. of Deaths : 23
  • Year : 2015
  • Location : Mt. Everest Base Camp

2. 2052 BS - Kanchenjunga Base Camp Avalanche

2052 BS - Kanchenjunga Base Camp Avalanche
Image Source: Mountain Guide

A 17-year-old kid named Deepak Nepali who'd been left for dead in an avalanche survived a 24-hour ordeal and was rescued from thick snow, safe except for frostbite. A total of 17 foreigners were reported to have perished, including 13 Japanese hikers killed by the avalanche and an Irish lady, two Canadians, and a German buried in a landslide that killed 48 people. 115 international trekkers were rescued from a snow-covered valley near Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. The majority of them were suffering from snow blindness, frostbite, and starvation.

  • No. of Deaths : 48
  • Year : 1995
  • Location : Kanchunjunga Base Camp

1. 2071 BS - Annapurna/ Dhaulagiri Avalanches

2071 BS - Annapurna/ Dhaulagiri Avalanches
Image Source: Kathmandu Post

A snowfall and sequence of avalanches happened in and around Annapurna and Dhaulagiri in Nepal's Manang and Mustang Districts on October 14, 2014. According to an unidentified expert, the storm was caused by Cyclone Hudhud and was the worst in a decade, with about 1.8 meters (5 ft 11 in) of snow falling in a 12-hour period. In the Manang District, electricity, mobile phone service, and internet connections all collapsed, impeding relief operations. At least 59 persons were killed as a result of the storms. Among the dead were 21 trekkers from several countries walking the Annapurna Circuit, including two Slovak climbers at Dhaulagiri base camp, and several local Nepali mountain guides, cooks and yak herders. Up to 50 persons were reported missing, with 175 suffering from injuries such as severe frostbite.

  • No. of Deaths : 59
  • Year : 2014
  • Location : Annapurna/ Dhaulagiri

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10. 2053 BS - Lhotse Face Avalanche

2053 BS - Lhotse Face Avalanche
Image Source: Mt Everest Today

The 1996 Mount Everest disaster occurred on 10th and 11th of May, 1996. The nine climbers caught in a blizzard died on Mount Everest while attempting to descend from the summit from the Lhotse Face. At 8,516m, Lhotse is the 4th highest mountain. The summit sits next to Mount Everest. The two are connected via the South Col. Lhotse. The Everest climbers share their normal route to Camp 3, after which their paths diverge. Four members of the Adventure Consultants expedition died, while Scott Fischer who was the lead of the Mountain Madness expedition also perished. Three officers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police also died in the avalanche. The 1996 disaster was publicized greatly to the point where after the disaster, several survivors wrote memoirs which became bestsellers.

  • No. of Deaths : 9
  • Year : 1996
  • Location : Lhotse Face of Everest

9. 2029 BS - Mt. Dhaulagiri Avalanche

2029 BS - Mt. Dhaulagiri Avalanche
Image Source: The Himalayan

One of the most recent avalanches on the list, the 2018 avalanche on Dhaulagiri at the base camp of Mt. Gurja which is situated on the south face of Mt. Dhaulagiri cost the life of 9 climbers. A heavy snowstorm followed by the avalanche buried the base camp in Mt. Gurja at 3,500m. A climbing Sherpa was reportedly missing in the incident after the avalanche hit a seven-member team of Sherpa while fixing a route from Camp II to Camp III. The missing was identified as Dawa Geljen Sherpa of Makalu. The avalanche occurred at around 11 am on Sunday and lasted for about 30 minutes. Due to the avalanche, locals living in Kowang, Larjung, Naurikot, Boksi Khola of Thasang Gapa had to flee.

  • No. of Deaths : 9
  • Year : 2018
  • Location : Mt. Dhaulagiri

8. 2037 BS - North Face Avalanche

2037 BS - North Face Avalanche
Image Source: Honey Guide

Over the course of a year a total of 10 people were killed due to avalanches on the North Face of Mt. Everest. Towards the end of May in 1973, an avalanche killed three members of an Australian expedition trying to climb the unconquered north face of Annapurna III. The avalanche occurred on 7:15 am cascading down the 10th highest mountain killed a two Nepalese porters and a South Korean climber, Yang Kun Chen who were sleeping in their tents. However, a man buried in the snow survived. The expedition on Mount Annapurna III had been abandoned after the 24th of September. The other members of the climb returned to the capital on the same week. The second camp on the mountain had been hit by numerous avalanches before the accident.

  • No. of Deaths : 10
  • Year : 1980
  • Location : North Face of Annapurna III

7. 2029 BS - Mt. Manaslu Avalanche

2029 BS - Mt. Manaslu Avalanche
Image Source: Highlights Tourism

In 1972, fifteen climbers of a South Korean mountaineering expedition were killed by the avalanche at the peak of Mt. Manaslu. At the height of 26,658 foot, the disaster was one of the worst in climbing history. Among the team there were 15 victims among which 10 were Nepalese Sherpas, 4 were Koreans and 1 was Japanese. 7 members of the expedition were not struck by the avalanche as they were not in the camp. A Korean survivor Kim Yae Sup (21 years old) suffered from frostbite and internal injuries. He recounted the experience from the disaster from a hospital bed. Kim was flown by a helicopter with his eldest brother, who was the expedition leader.

  • No. of Deaths : 15
  • Year : 1972
  • Location : Mt. Manaslu

6. 2054 BS - Everest Avalanches

2054 BS - Everest Avalanches
Image Source: WEM Journal

The second most deadliest season for climbers, in 1997, 19 people faced their deaths trying to summit Everest. On September 21st, an avalanche fell near the Nuptse’s north fall. The avalanche struck a group of climbers on the South Col. It swept three men, two Sherpas and a Frenchman. One of the Sherpas was the renowned Lobsang Jangbu. He had summited Everest four times. The other Sherpa named Dawa was with the South Korean Everest team and the Frenchman Yves Bouchon was a member of a French-Belgian-Swiss Everest expedition. .

  • No. of Deaths : 19
  • Year : 1997
  • Location : Everest region, Everest

5. 2046 BS - Mt. Pumori Avalanche

2046 BS - Mt. Pumori Avalanche
Image Source: Explorersweb

Mt Pumori is situated at Nepal-Tibet border, the summit reaches 7161m. Many trekkers summit the mountain to see the view of the high Tibetan Plateau and the Western part of Everest. In 1989 a team of Spanish climbers were killed while climbing the mountain. A total of 20 climbers met their death in the same year due to lots of avalanches on Pumori and near the Everest region.

  • No. of Deaths : 20
  • Year : 1989
  • Location : Mt. Pumori/ Everest

4. 2062 BS - French Expedition Base Camp Avalanche

2062 BS - French Expedition Base Camp Avalanche
Image Source: India Today

Kang Guru withdrew from the advanced base camp at 6,800m on October 20, 2005, because of severe snowfall, and retreated to the lower base camp at 4,200m. The team had just gone into their tents for tea at 5 p.m. when the avalanche struck. Dawa Lama and three porters escaped, but seven French climbers and 11 Nepalis died. Nine of those killed were from the Gorkha village of Larpak. The remains were identified by a French forensic squad using dental data and flown back to France, where the Nepalis were turned over to family members. The overall number of deaths was around 21.

  • No. of Deaths : 21
  • Year : 2005
  • Location : French Expedition Base Camp

3. 2072 BS - Mt. Everest Base Camp Avalanche

2072 BS - Mt. Everest Base Camp Avalanche
Image Source: ABC News

Mount Everest is around 220 kilometers east of the epicenter, and between 700 and 1,000 people were on or near the summit when the earthquake occurred, including 359 climbers at Base Camp, many of whom had returned despite the season's cancellation in 2014. Several big avalanches erupted on and around the mountain as a result of the earthquake. One avalanche came into Base Camp and blew numerous tents across the Khumbu Glacier into the lower Icefall, originating on the adjacent summit of Pumori. The remains of 19 mountaineers were found from the South Base Camp by an Indian Army climbing squad, while at least 61 stranded climbers were evacuated off the peak. There were a total of 23 fatalities.

  • No. of Deaths : 23
  • Year : 2015
  • Location : Mt. Everest Base Camp

2. 2052 BS - Kanchenjunga Base Camp Avalanche

2052 BS - Kanchenjunga Base Camp Avalanche
Image Source: Mountain Guide

A 17-year-old kid named Deepak Nepali who'd been left for dead in an avalanche survived a 24-hour ordeal and was rescued from thick snow, safe except for frostbite. A total of 17 foreigners were reported to have perished, including 13 Japanese hikers killed by the avalanche and an Irish lady, two Canadians, and a German buried in a landslide that killed 48 people. 115 international trekkers were rescued from a snow-covered valley near Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain. The majority of them were suffering from snow blindness, frostbite, and starvation.

  • No. of Deaths : 48
  • Year : 1995
  • Location : Kanchunjunga Base Camp

1. 2071 BS - Annapurna/ Dhaulagiri Avalanches

2071 BS - Annapurna/ Dhaulagiri Avalanches
Image Source: Kathmandu Post

A snowfall and sequence of avalanches happened in and around Annapurna and Dhaulagiri in Nepal's Manang and Mustang Districts on October 14, 2014. According to an unidentified expert, the storm was caused by Cyclone Hudhud and was the worst in a decade, with about 1.8 meters (5 ft 11 in) of snow falling in a 12-hour period. In the Manang District, electricity, mobile phone service, and internet connections all collapsed, impeding relief operations. At least 59 persons were killed as a result of the storms. Among the dead were 21 trekkers from several countries walking the Annapurna Circuit, including two Slovak climbers at Dhaulagiri base camp, and several local Nepali mountain guides, cooks and yak herders. Up to 50 persons were reported missing, with 175 suffering from injuries such as severe frostbite.

  • No. of Deaths : 59
  • Year : 2014
  • Location : Annapurna/ Dhaulagiri

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