Solo hiking by women discouraged in Nepal

KATMANDU, Nepal, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy has issued a warning against hiking alone in Nepal where several foreign women have been attacked or are missing.

American Lena Sessions, 23, was hiking in Langtang National Park Dec. 23 when a local man wearing a black mask approached her with a knife, USA Today reported Wednesday.


"Either I [sexually assault] you or I kill you," Sessions said the man threatened her.

Sessions made an escape, but other women haven't been as lucky.

"Foreigners have also gone missing while trekking alone," the State Department Web site says.

In 2006, a French woman disappeared in Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park and six weeks later, a German woman, Sabine Gruneklee disappeared in the same area. Gruneklee's body was later found. In the same year, German Kristina Kovacevic disappeared in northern Nepal -- her body was later found in a ravine.

The family of American Aubrey Sacco, 23, is still searching for her after she vanished in April 2010 in Langtang National Park.

"We don't know that she's been murdered," Aubrey's mother Connie Sacco said. "We don't feel that she has. But we're on our own -- there's no evidence."


Sessions told USA Today she immediately notified authorities at the U.S. Embassy in Nepal about her attack.

"My hope is that, out of this, the national park will make an effort to be realistic about the situation in the park," Sessions said. "I might have made some different decisions had I known."

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