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Top Nepalese Climber is Missing

A veteran Sherpa mountain guide who has climbed Mount Everest 19 times is missing and feared dead in the Himalayan mountains.

Chhewang Nima was reported missing Saturday after an avalanche struck while he was fixing ropes for an ascent of a smaller Himalayan peak.

He had been hired by British climbers who wanted to reach the summit of the 7,129 meter Mount Baruntse.

The director of Sherpa Shangri-La Treks (Jeeban Ghimire), the company that organized the expedition, said Monday the other members of the expedition are safe, including another Sherpa guide who had also been reported missing.

He said bad weather has hampered the rescue operation.

Veteran guide Nima is just one climb short of the record set by fellow Nepalese Sherpa Apa, who has scaled the world's highest peak 20 times.