UPDATE: 9:51 p.m.
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- A Nepalese tourism official says six local guides have been killed and nine more are missing after an avalanche swept a route used to ascend the world's highest peak.
Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal says the avalanche hit just below Mount Everest Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m. Friday.
He says four bodies have been recovered and rescuers are digging two more out of the snow. Nine other Sherpa guides are still unaccounted for and believed to be buried in the snow.
All those killed and missing had gone early in the morning to the area to fix the ropes for climbers along the route to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit.
Original: 8:23 p.m.
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- Officials say about five climbers are feared missing after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest and hit a route used to assent the world's highest peak.
Nepal Tourism Ministry official Madhu Sudan Burlakoti says the avalanche hit the area just below Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m. Friday. Rescuers and fellow climbers at the base camp are heading to the area to help. A helicopter is on the way from Katmandu.
Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association says four or five climbers are believed to have been buried and more injured by the avalanche.
Hundreds of climbers, their guides and support guides have gathered at the base camp, gearing up for their final attempt to scale the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak early next month when weather condition gets favorable.