Tragic Everest avalanche, numerous victims
In the early hours of this morning an avalanche swept down the flanks of Everest on the Nepalese side of the mountain. At least six Sherpa have died, while numerous other climbers are reported missing.
The spring 2014 climbing season on Mount Everest begins in the worst possible way: in the early hours of this morning a deadly avalanche swept down its Nepalese flanks leaving scores dead. Precise details are still to come but at least six Sherpa are believed to have been killed, while at least five other mountaineers are feared missing.
According to preliminary reports, the Sherpa were preparing the normal route prior to the high season on the highest mountain in the world when the avalanche struck just below Camp 1, at 5800m, at circa 6.30 am local time. A large-scale search and rescue operation has been launched.
Further updates will follow shortly about what, sadly, is undoubtedly one of the worst tragedies on Everest of all times.
20/04/2014 - 23:25
Sunday 20 April 2014. Another difficult day on Everest after the tragic turn of events last Friday, when a portion of the serac broke off the West Face and fell onto the Khumbu Icefall, killing at least 13 Sherpa. The death toll could easily rise to 16 and despite concentrated efforts the missing 3 Sherpa were not found today. Channel 4 News reports Lakpa Sherpa of the Himalayan Rescue Operation as announcing from Everest Base Camp earlier today: "We have called off the search operation. It not possible to find the three missing persons, dead or alive."
Base Camp was understandably the scene of further intense moments and many alpinists and some expeditions have decided to leave the mountain . An hour ago what is likely to be the most famous expedition was cancelled altogether, namely that of Joby Ogwyn, whose attempt to perform a wingsuit flight off the roof of the world would have been documented live by Discovery Channel. At present it is unclear if and how many expeditions will follow suit – 334 mountaineers from 41 countries are expected, as well as circa 400 support staff – but the idea of canceling the entire spring season seems to be taking on. This is also confirmed by British journalist Ed Douglas who posted the following on Twitter just a few hours ago: "Everest season on the brink. Going to be some tense negotiations over next few days between Nepal government, Sherpa leaders and expeditions."
19/04/2014 - 23:02
Search and rescue operations continued all throughout today, Saturday 19 April and the first day after the avalanche swept through the Icefall. The official death toll rose to 13 Sherpa this morning: after having recovered 12 bodies yesterday (and transported 8 injured to hospitals at Lukla and Kathmandu), this morning the 13th dead body was recovered. More than 24 hours have passed since tragedy struck and the Nepalese authorities believe there is now no chance of finding the missing 3 Sherpa alive. Nepalese tourism official Dipendra Paude explained ""Our hope is to find the bodies now. But we cannot confirm a death toll of 16 until we do." In the meantime The Times of India has published the list of 13 dead and 3 missing Sherpa, while the authoritative source Alan Arnette stated "Most Sherpa left Everest Base Camp to mourn in home village, most will return."
19/04/2014 - 15:40
We have now published an interview with Italian alpinist Simone Moro to try and understand more about the tragic Everest avalanche.
19/04/2014 - 14:16
In remembrance of the fallen Sherpas on Everest the American Alpine Club has established the Sherpa Support Fund to lend aid and support to the families of these fallen climbers and the communities affected by this traged. Click here to find out more.
19/04/2014 - 11:10
Search and rescue operations resumed Saturday morning. According to Maddhu Sunan Burlakoti, the head of the Nepalese government's mountaineering department, operations are in full swing before conditions deteriorate. This morning the 13th body was recovered. 3 Sherpa are still missing.
18/04/2014 - 23:10
It’s nighttime in Nepal, the rescue operations will recommence early tomorrow morning. This disastrous Friday 18 April began with the terrible news that part of the serac that looms over the icefall on the West Shoulder of Everest collapsed at around 6:30am, resulting in the deaths of at least 13 Sherpa, while another 4 are feared missing. Although the Nepalese government has not yet officially published the names of the victims, a preliminary list can be found on the website run by Alan Arnette. The climbers trapped above the Icefall - circa 100 according to estimates - are safe and sound and will make their way back to Base Camp once the ladders and route through the Icefall have been fixed.
18/04/2014 - 16:40
According to Alan Arnette, helicopters have transported 12 bodies to Everest Base Camp, while 1 body has been sighted but not recovered yet. The injured climbers have been taken to hospital at Lukla or Kathmandu.
18/04/2014 - 14:10
The tragic death toll rises. At least 13 now confirmed dead + 3 missing. A terrible tragedy for mountaineering, Nepal and its Sherpa people.
18/04/2014 - 11:30
According to the expedition Peak Freaks circa 100 alpinists are trapped above the avalanche due to a broken ladder used to corss the Icefall. Evacuation is currently underway via helicopter.
19/04/2014 - Everest avalanche: interview with Simone Moro
Interview with Simone Moro after the tragic avalanche on Everest on 18 April 2014 that caused the deaths of at least 13 Sherpa.