Three hikers, including a renowned Japanese climber, were missing and feared dead after an avalanche on Nepal’s rugged Dhaulagiri mountain, tourism officials say.

Chijuko Kono, 67, is believed to have been caught in the avalance Friday, along with Spanish climber Juanjo Garra, 50, and Nepalese guide Dawa Sherpa, tourism ministry official Dipendra Paudel told AFP.

Keshav Gurung, Garra’s high-altitude guide, has been rescued and was airlifted to the city of Pokhara for treatment.

“They were at Camp Four at 7,800 meters, and I cannot say whether they reached the top,” Paudel said. “We will know the details only after one of the expedition team members arrives in Kathmandu”.

“It’s hard to say for sure, but three days later chances of their survival seem minimal,” Paudel added.

The four were reportedly separated from a larger expedition comprising 21 climbers attempting to scale the mountain. The remaining climbers are safe, officials said.

The 8,167-meter Dhaulagiri mountain, the world’s seventh highest peak, has a high death rate for climbers according to Himalayan Database, reports AFP.