Friends of three mountaineers lost for a week in Xinjiang will launch their own rescue mission today after mainland teams called off their attempt. The search of Bogda Shan would go on until the climbers were found or severe weather or the rescuers' fading strength made it impossible, said Ngok Fung Rock Climbing Society chairman Fung Kan-por. 'The wind is blowing in gusts, it is snowing heavily and the temperature is minus four degrees Celsius. The snow which covers everything is our greatest obstacle. It is also exhausting to walk in loose and newly fallen snow,' he said. Climber Ho Chi-ming, 52, with more than 30 years' experience, will lead a team of five men. Seven relatives will travel with them to the northwestern province. Mechanical engineer Chan King-chuen, 29, bank deputy manager Lam Chi-wai, 33, and decorator Yeung Chi-ho, 35, are believed trapped in heavy snow after they lost contact with the rest of their party, some of whom are now back in Hong Kong. Mr Fung said the rescuers estimated it would take three or four days to reach the area where the missing climbers, who are all experienced, might be. They plan to set off today, or as soon as they have gathered enough equipment, and will fly from Guangzhou to Urumqi where the families will wait in the 1,900-metre high resort of Tianchi. Mr Yeung's wife, Chan Wai-yu, 36, said: 'I believe there is still hope. The only thing on my mind is that he is waiting for me up there and I have to go as soon as I can.' She has not explained to their four-year-old son what is happening. According to Mr Fung, the most likely area where the missing three might be found is between 4,700 and 5,200 metres. They will continue searching until they scale the 5,445-metre peak, he said. The three have enough food and materials to last for eight to 10 days, he added. Even though the original search by mainland mountaineers had ended, food and water would continue to be left at the base camp, the Xinjiang Climbing Society told the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union, saying it had done everything possible. They found the trio's left-over materials including a tent, four bags of food, two gas cans and two videotapes at 4,700 metres and continued their search until 2am yesterday.