Dharamsala, Aug 26 (IANS) The whereabouts of two French backpackers, who went missing Aug 23 while trekking in the Dhauladhar ranges in Himachal Pradesh, remained unknown Monday and the search for them was stepped up, police said.
"Two teams, each comprising police and local trekkers, have been deployed for intensive search of hills overlooking Triund," Superintendent of Police Balbir Thakur told IANS.
He said rain was hampering the search in the terrain located at an altitude above 15,000 feet.
Police said a group of 32 foreigners went for trekking Aug 19. Some local trekkers and porters were also accompanying them. Their expedition was arranged by NGO Field Service Intercultural Learning.
From Triund, the popular trekking route, the French duo, in their early 20s, took a different route and went ahead while the rest of the group returned to the base camp in Dharamsala Aug 22.
The scenic hills in the state attract thousands of foreigners for a range of activities like mountaineering, skiing, trekking, rafting and para-gliding.
The Dhauladhar mountain ranges are gorgeous, but they are also rugged, cold and inhospitable and no place for an inexperienced or ill-equipped trekker, say area tourist guides.