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The place of the avalanche in the Everest Icefall. The photo was taken by Simone Moro in 2012.
Photo by Simone Moro

Everest avalanche: search operation called off


After three days of searching the rescue operation on Everest has been called off today. The official death toll is 13 Sherpa dead and 3 missing. The entire spring mountaineering season is now uncertain.

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- Everest avalanche: interview with Simone Moro
18/04/2014- Tragic Everest avalanche, numerous victims





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