All of the 17 climbers who went missing during a climb to Otgontenger Mountain of Zavkhan Province were found dead by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

NEMA held a press conference on October 23 to update the public on the situation.

The climbers have been missing since Sunday after reaching the peak of the 4,021-meter mountain, NEMA reported.

The 17 deceased climbers were found at 3,200 to 3,400 meters above sea level by emergency responders. Preliminary investigation says that the climbers may have fallen off a cliff, reported NEMA General G.Ariunbuyan.

From what NEMA knows, the climbers were aged 30 to 50, and 13 of the climbers were male while four were female. Unconfirmed reports by local media indicated that the expedition was led by a mountaineer named N.Surenjav.

The whole expedition consisted of 27 climbers, 10 of whom made their way down the mountain safely. The surviving climbers were transported to Ulaanbaatar with the NEMA’s MI-171 plane.

Deputy Prime Minister U.Enkhtuvshin led a 32-man response team to Otgontenger Mountain, coordinating with emergency responders to locate the remaining missing climbers.

The search for the climbers ended on October 25 after responders had to cease their search due to darkness.

The south face of Otgontenger Mountain is the biggest granite wall in Mongolia, making it a popular climbing destination.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism had closed off the mountain in 2015 citing safety concerns. Only four other climbers have died since 1960 climbing the mountain.

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