The southern face of Mount Everest including Mount Lhotse, middle right, soars above the monsoon clouds at the border of Nepal and Tibet. File picture: John McConnico/AP

Kathmandu - Five South Korean climbers and three Nepalese guides are feared dead after a snowstorm tore apart their base camp at Mount Gurja in western Nepal, police said Saturday.

A storm destroyed their camp on the 7,193-metre-high mountain late Friday.

A search-and-rescue helicopter pilot saw eight bodies scattered across the mountain, a Nepal police spokesman, Shailesh Thapa, said.

Expedition organizer Wangchu Sherpa said the team included a veteran South Korean climber who was the first from his country to have scaled 14 peaks higher than 8 000 metres.

Thapa, the police spokesman, said weather conditions on the mountain were preventing search-and-rescue efforts.

It takes at least a day on foot to reach the mountain's base from the nearest village.