Rescuers are searching for four missing mountaineers who were swept away by an avalanche on Peru's tallest peak.

The slide hit the two Mexican and two Peruvian alpinists on Huascaran mountain Tuesday after they had reached an altitude of almost 6,000 meters (20,000 feet).

Peruvian mountain police official Carlos Bazan said Thursday that four other members of the Mexican-led expedition were rescued by a group of Austrian climbers who were in the area at the time.

Huascaran is located in Peru's snow- and ice-covered Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world and a major tourist attraction for climbers and hiking enthusiasts from around the world.