Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

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Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche
Nepalese rescue team members rescue a survivor of an avalanche on Mount Everest on April 18, 2014. At least 12 Nepalese guides preparing routes up Mount Everest for commercial climbers were killed by an avalanche in the most deadly mountaineering accident ever on the world's highest peak, officials and rescuers say. The men were among a large party of Sherpas carrying tents, food and ropes who headed out in bright sunshine in an early morning expedition ahead of the main climbing season starting later this month. AFP PHOTO/Buddhabir RAI (Photo credit should read Buddhabir RAI/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this May 18, 2013 file photo released by mountain guide Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow Expeditions, climbers make their way to the summit of Mount Everest, in the Khumbu region of the Nepal Himalayas. An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, April 18, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. (AP Photo/Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian Ballinger, File) MANDATORY CREDIT, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
FILE - In this May 22 2013 file photo, climbers descend Khumbu Icefall on their way back to Base Camo after summitting the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) Mount Everest. With its dreams of covering a daredevil's attempt to jump off Mount Everest over, the Discovery network is instead making a documentary on the avalanche, Friday, 18, 2014, that killed more than a dozen mountain guides. Discovery President Eileen O'Neill said Tuesday, April 22, the network hopes to air the film within the next few weeks. Discovery will encourage viewers to donate to a relief fund for families of the Sherpa guides killed in the disaster. Several of the Sherpas killed were helping prepare for American Joby Ogwyn's planned jump from the summit in a wingsuit. Discovery planned to show the stunt on live television May 11.(AP Photo/ Pasang Geljen Sherpa, FIle)
FILE - In this Saturday May 17, 2003 file photo, a view of the Kumbhu icefall, the first hurdle in the ascent to Everest from base camp, is seen from Everest Base camp, where 12 Nepalese guides were killed, Nepal. An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan, file)
FILE - in this May 18, 2013 file photo released by mountain guide Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow Expeditions, a climber pauses on the way to the summit of Mount Everest, in the Khumbu region of the Nepal Himalayas. An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, April 18, 2014, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. (AP Photo/Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian Ballinger, File)
Mother of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, cries while she waits for his body at Sherpa Monastery in Katmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 19, 2014. Rescuers were searching through piles of snow and ice on the slopes of Mount Everest on Saturday for four Sherpa guides who were buried by an avalanche that killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. 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. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
Father and sons of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, wait for his body to arrive at Sherpa Monastery in Katmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 19, 2014. Rescuers were searching through piles of snow and ice on the slopes of Mount Everest on Saturday for four Sherpa guides who were buried by an avalanche that killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. 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. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
A Nepalese Sherpa Dawa Tashi, who was injured during an avalanche, gets treatment at a hospital in Katmandu, Nepal, Friday, April 18, 2014. An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
A group of tourists dig their way through heavy snow above 16,000 feet in the Himalayan mountains near Mount Everest Nov. 11, 1995. The early snowfall triggered avalanches and landslides that killed 61 people and trapped throusands of trekkers for days. (AP Photo/Stacy Standley)
Hospital staff get ready to receive the injured from an avalanche, on helipad of Grandy hospital, in Katmandu, Nepal, Friday, April 18, 2014. An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
Relatives of Mount Everest avalanche victims wait for the mortal remains of their loved ones to arrive at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 19, 2014. Rescuers on Mount Everest April 19 found the body of a 13th Nepalese guide buried under snow as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from the deadliest accident ever on the world's highest peak. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of a Mount Everest avalanche victim grieve as bodies arrive at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 19, 2014. Rescuers on Mount Everest April 19 found the body of a 13th Nepalese guide buried under snow as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from the deadliest accident ever on the world's highest peak. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of Mount Everest avalanche victims give their last respects after the bodies arrived at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 19, 2014. Rescuers on Mount Everest April 19 found the body of a 13th Nepalese guide buried under snow as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from the deadliest accident ever on the world's highest peak. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of Mount Everest avalanche victims give their last respects after the bodies arrived at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 19, 2014. Rescuers on Mount Everest April 19 found the body of a 13th Nepalese guide buried under snow as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from the deadliest accident ever on the world's highest peak. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
The daughter (L) and son of Mount Everest avalanche victim Ang Kazi Sherpa comfort each other as they wait for his body to arrive at Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 19, 2014. Rescuers searched Mount Everest for bodies as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from an avalanche that killed at least 12 Nepalese guides in the deadliest accident ever on the world's highest peak. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese relatives and volunteers shift the body of a Mount Everest avalanche victim after arrival at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 19, 2014. Rescuers on Mount Everest April 19 found the body of a 13th Nepalese guide buried under snow as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from the deadliest accident ever on the world's highest peak. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of a Mount Everest avalanche victim grieve as bodies arrive at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 19, 2014. Rescuers on Mount Everest April 19 found the body of a 13th Nepalese guide buried under snow as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from the deadliest accident ever on the world's highest peak. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
A photograph of Mount Everest avalanche victim Ang Kazi Sherpa is pictured as his children look through photographs on his recovered mobile phone at the Sherpa Monastery in Kathmandu on April 19, 2014. Rescuers on Mount Everest April 19 found the body of a 13th Nepalese guide buried under snow as authorities ruled out hope of finding any more survivors from the deadliest accident ever on the world's highest peak. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) - With its dreams of televising a daredevil's attempt to jump off Mount Everest over, the Discovery network said Tuesday it will instead make a documentary on last week's avalanche that killed more than a dozen mountain guides.

Discovery President Eileen O'Neill said the network hopes to air the film within the next few weeks. Discovery will encourage viewers to donate to a relief fund for families of the Sherpa guides killed in Everest's most deadly disaster.

"It gives us a sense of responsibility because we are there and have the resources and wherewithal to tell the story," O'Neill said. "We want to have the right tribute."

Several of the Sherpas killed were helping prepare for American Joby Ogwyn's planned jump from the summit in a wingsuit. Discovery planned to show the stunt on television worldwide on May 11. Thirteen bodies were recovered from the avalanche at the mountain's treacherous Khumbu Icefall, with three people still missing.

Ogwyn said in an interview Tuesday that while he agreed with the decision to end his project, he hopes to jump off Everest sometime in the future.

Sherpa teams were preparing the climb for several expeditions, including Ogwyn's team and employees of Peacock Productions, the NBC-affiliated firm that was producing Discovery's telecast. Discovery announced on Sunday, two days after the avalanche, that it was abandoning the attempted jump.

Discovery pulled the plug both out of sensitivity toward the Sherpa community and an inability to assess the stability of the mountain post-avalanche, O'Neill said.

"The success rate of such an ambitious project that needed to have everything go right was greatly compromised," she said. "It was a collection of issues that really gave us no choice."

A climb to the summit probably would have been impossible even if Discovery had wanted to go forward: Most surviving Sherpa guides have since decided to leave Everest. Considering the climbing season at the world's highest peak is generally confined to May because of weather, that will severely curtail expeditions.

There was some initial confusion about whether Ogwyn was onboard with Discovery's decision. He tweeted on Sunday, before the cancellation was announced, that "today is a brighter day. We are staying on the mountain to honor our friends and complete our project."

Ogwyn said he was simply trying to set an example by showing a positive attitude to his expedition team and the Sherpas.

"I just wanted to support them," he said. "If my message was interpreted in a different way, that was not my intention."

Ogwyn said conditions on Everest were more dangerous this year than he had seen in the past. He heard and witnessed the avalanche and didn't think it was that bad at first, because he had witnessed avalanches there that were louder and dislodged more ice and snow.

He remained on the mountain to help in the recovery effort for the bodies. Ogwyn said he'll also participate in Discovery's documentary, and he wants it to tell the story of Sherpas and how they are essential to Everest climbs.

O'Neill wouldn't say how much Discovery had paid for the mission, which the network hoped would be a big ratings-grabber along the lines of Nik Wallenda's tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon. Making a documentary on the disaster would allow the network to recoup some of its investment.

Ogwyn is not abandoning his goal of being the first person to jump off the top of the world.

"I'm not the sort of person who is deterred by obstacles and hurdles in achieving my dreams and I fully intend on coming back very soon," he said. "I'm not sure how exactly, but I would very much like to complete my project."
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