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Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

Everest Avalanche Kills 12 Guides, More Missing


KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving four missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. Several more were injured.

The Sherpa guides had gone early in the morning to fix ropes for other climbers when the avalanche hit them at about 6:30 a.m., Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal said from the base camp where he is monitoring rescue efforts.

An injured survivor told his relatives that the path up the mountain was unstable just before the avalanche. As soon as the avalanche hit, rescuers, guides and climbers rushed to help.

Four survivors were injured badly enough to require airlifting to a hospital in Katmandu. One arrived during the day, and three taken to the foothill town of Lukla could be evacuated Saturday. Others with less serious injuries were being treated at base camp.

Rescue workers pulled out 12 bodies from under mounds of snow and ice and were searching for the four missing guides, Lamsal said. Officials had earlier said three were missing.

The avalanche hit an area nicknamed the "popcorn field" for its bulging chucks of ice and is just below Camp 2, Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said. Camp 2 sits at an elevation of 6,400 meters (21,000 feet) on the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain.

One injured guide, Dawa Tashi, lay in the intensive care unit at Grande Hospital in the capital late Friday after being evacuated from the mountain. Doctors said he suffered several broken ribs and would be in the hospital for a few days.

Tashi told his visiting relatives that the Sherpa guides woke up early and were on their way to fix ropes to the higher camps but were delayed because of the unsteady path. Suddenly the avalanche fell on the group and buried many of them, according to Tashi's sister-in-law Dawa Yanju.

Hundreds of climbers, guides and support crews are at Everest's base camp preparing to climb to the summit when weather conditions will be at their most favorable early next month. They have been setting up camps at higher altitudes, and guides have been fixing routes and ropes on the slopes above.

The Sherpa people are one of the main ethnic groups in Nepal's alpine region, and many make their living as climbing guides on Everest and other Himalayan peaks.

More than 4,000 climbers have summited Everest since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hundreds have died attempting to reach the peak.

The worst recorded disaster on Everest had been a snowstorm on May 11, 1996, that caused the deaths of eight climbers. Six Nepalese guides were killed in an avalanche in 1970.

Earlier this year, Nepal announced several steps to better manage the heavy flow of climbers and speed up rescue operations. The steps included the dispatch of officials and security personnel to the base camp at 5,300 meters (17,380 feet), where they will stay throughout the spring climbing season that ends in May.

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rebekab42 April 18 2014 at 7:38 AM

My condolences to those who lost love ones on Mount Everest and with hope and God's will, the remaining three will be found alive.

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sweetandcountry8 April 18 2014 at 12:50 PM

God Bless all involved. The Sherpa's are very improtant in making any climb a success. They have a very strong, and wonderful culture. Such a gentle, caring people. Below is a link that you can learn a lot more about the Sherpa's. I have seen many documentaries on people climbing Mts'; all over the world. It is a breathtaking experience filled with wonder & awe. It is always tragic when someone dies in one of these climbs. But, many things are dangerous, these people are living their lives and not letting fear stop them from enjoying their lives. You can leave your house and get hit by a car. You can't live your life in fear. Police, Firemen, Military, there are many dangerous jobs out there and many dangerous activities such as race car driving, football, boxing, etc.

Sherpa Adventure • Tiso.com
www.tiso.com › Home › Shop
- Similar to Sherpa Adventure • Tiso.com
And it is their children who suffer most when a Sherpa guide is injured or killed ... In order to honor their heroic feats, Sherpa Adventure Gear donates up to $.50 ...

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1 reply
crazy ray sweetandcountry8 April 18 2014 at 12:53 PM

" The Sherpa's are very improtant in making any climb a success." Yes, it's certainly admirable to risk your life for tourism.

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ekarlh1 April 18 2014 at 12:13 PM

Sherpa guides. Knew what the risks are. If mountain Everest was not popular climbing are. They will still lose their in this tragic event. Bad things happens to everyone. Right now this not time for rude immature comments. Their families, friends and love ones. Are going through rough times. Respect their mourning period. Also those immature comments below the article. I have read. In reality your are lowest selfish shallow life losers. You have no respect for life.

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1 reply
sweetandcountry8 ekarlh1 April 18 2014 at 12:30 PM

I agree! Only blessings for all those involved. The Sherpas are wonderful, & these climbers could not make it without them. Many have dangerous jobs, firmen, police, military, etc. But, when one of them dies we don't say, oh well they knew they had a dangerous job. How IGNORANT. God Bless all involved.

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zzholt April 18 2014 at 2:08 PM

I have to agree with Steve-a-rino. several of the realities he mentions were already true and evident when the '96 disaster took place. I'd say shame on everyone who tempts their fate - and the fates of others - for silly, vain reasons, and then turns around and leaves the place trashed and in shambles. I'd include Mr. Krakauer on that list, btw (from the '96 event) - and exclude Anatoli Boukreev. Certainly, also, are the locals (Sherpas) excluded. Peace to them all.

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AOL9.7 April 18 2014 at 2:04 PM

MOTHER NATURE has not been kind lately, the awful mudlside and now this terrible avalanche.

May all receive comforting blessings......

God bless.

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Donald April 18 2014 at 1:52 PM

I guess some love the thrill of adventure. Sorry for the locals who died. For them it's a job..

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Rich April 18 2014 at 9:30 AM

these are sherpas that died, these are locals that do the serious dangerous work so that the rich foreign climbers have a relative cake walk (compared to what they would have without the sherpas).........Sherpas set up climbing ropes, ladders, safety gear all the way up the mountain for the convience of their rich employers, this is their lively hood as compared to their rich employers who take the easy route (because of the sherpas) for their cheap glory..............

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dan_crabtree April 18 2014 at 9:32 AM

Sadly has turned into the disney world of the world now...littered with trash last time i read an article on this once sacred mountain...What can be said other than tourist and there expectations sent these unfortunate sherpas out for the next flock of tourist..shame indeed..

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pch514 April 18 2014 at 8:40 PM

My deepest sympathies to the families of the Sherpa guides who have lost their loved ones.I agree the people climbing are probably rich ego minded sob;s who are looking for a thrill . as to the way they litter this beautiful mountain thay should be ashamed of themselves. wouldthey do the same to their own home

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bryanmerrittper2 April 18 2014 at 8:21 AM

That's a very dangerous mountain every year people are killed trying to climb it. Ask why? Because it's there. That's your answer.

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2 replies
lessigvon bryanmerrittper2 April 18 2014 at 8:26 AM

Years ago i would agree but in this day its more about Tweets,.... selfies and posting!

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TruthBeKnown bryanmerrittper2 April 18 2014 at 8:55 AM

You could rob a bank cause it's there too.. but good sense tells you it is not a good choice.
Rich people with no common sense will continue to do this sort of thing.. when they could be helping children cancer victims in hospitals and add meaning to their lives.

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1 reply
suzannji2 TruthBeKnown April 19 2014 at 1:23 PM

These men were not "rich people with no common sense." They were local people trying to make a living for their families in one of the poorest countries in the world where there are few jobs available.

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