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Mount Everest avalanche video - Nepal Earthquake - late but a snapshot

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

While avalanche mentioned in this thread, the scale of the loss of life and infrastructure may be very hard to know at this stage as much of the damage is in a part of the world with minimal infrastructure or population accounting, many refugees and travelers.

 

It is a genuine tragedy at the gateway to the roof of the world and at the base of the roof of the world.

 

Video and detailed coverage in UK newspapers:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3056573/How-amateur-video-footage-captured-dramatic-moment-Nepal-earthquake-hit.html

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32474951

 

 

 

Cities around Kathmandu devastated, as is the capital. For climbers and mountaineers, it's not clear but appears climbers (and many are rank amateurs as they are part of the Everest climbing becoming accessible to many ..) are stuck on camps above the Khumbu Icefall which is the route for most to get to Everest. It maybe much of the path through the icefall is buried under tons of cemented ice but details are sketchy. The videos above are actually bone-chilling if you think about where the base camp is, it's a long way from the 'slopes'. That avalanche came from up high. BBC coverage is pretty good for concerned parties.

 

From the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/26/nepal-quake-everest-base-camp-looked-like-it-had-been-flattened-by-bomb

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/26/nepal-earthquake-governments-scramble-to-locate-missing-citizens

 

From the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/world/asia/everest-climbers-killed-as-nepal-quake-sets-off-avalanche.html?_r=0

 

 

A good piece on the avalanche from 2014 which killed 16 sherpas: Details the location of the Khumbu Icefall:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140421-everest-avalanche-sherpas-nepal-climbing-expedition/

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

Unreal situation - trapped at 6500m and up...almost no choppers can operate sustainedly at that altitude, a few specially rigged ones can, but most cannot, so that is going to be another harrowing follow on to this unfolding tragedy. India showed the limits of chopper operating ceilings at altitude in the Kargil war of 1999.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-26/dozens-stuck-on-everest-at-20-000-feet-with-no-way-to-base-camp

 

The situation on the ground too ... no better all over the area around the epicenter 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Rescue! Good news amongst the destruction ... climbers being taken off and quick

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mount-everest-climbers-rescued-after-avalanche-1430115776

post #4 of 10

Nepal and Everest have not been having their best years the past two years.  First the Avalanche that took out a bunch of Sherpas last year and now this.  

 

Sending good thoughts. 

post #5 of 10

Does this mean that my Everest bikini guided spam trip is off?

 

Poor taste for that comment. But I wanted to reconcile conflicting emotions here. While it seems a bit callous to focus on Everest climbers with so much other devastation from this quake, the tourism economy in Nepal is crucial to their recovery and economic survival. So the Everest story is relevant. And trekking dreams (even vicarious ones) need to continue.

 

Sincere condolences to the families of the dead, injured and displaced. Best wishes to the climbers and the Nepalese people.

 

Eric

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post
 

Does this mean that my Everest bikini guided spam trip is off?

 

Poor taste for that comment. But I wanted to reconcile conflicting emotions here. While it seems a bit callous to focus on Everest climbers with so much other devastation from this quake, the tourism economy in Nepal is crucial to their recovery and economic survival. So the Everest story is relevant. And trekking dreams (even vicarious ones) need to continue.

 

Sincere condolences to the families of the dead, injured and displaced. Best wishes to the climbers and the Nepalese people.

 

Eric

For what it's worth, am not interested in a ridiculous debate, the focus on the actual tragedy is all over the news, and every news and other media outlet. This thread notes clearly the scale of the destruction and points any who are interested to better sources for the news than CNN or FOX.

 

This was started to point out a remarkable, unusual, natural phenomenon (read the piece below) for the many mountaineers on the forum, and many others who come to read it - AN AVALANCHE WIPED OUT BASE CAMP AT EVEREST - that has NEVER happened, and the incredible situation (some good news on this - all or most rescued) that climbers were stuck on the side of nature's incredible tower, Mt. Everest with no way to get down as the usual route was destroyed - the web of the ones over the Khumbu Icefall which is set and reset through the climbing season each year. Climbing is an interest of many on this forum.This discussion has NOTHING to do with the ECONOMIC benefits or loss of the same to Nepal's economy. Many in the US do not look overseas or give a sh-te, that's cool, it's a free countr, so this was a medium to give them or anyone who was perusing the news of this incredible event, if it so interested them,  again to each their own. This is Mt. Everest after all. And climbing it is of global interest, live and on a computer screen or on film, in all corners of this planet.

 

Anyway, that said, here is a piece from Bloomberg News - note the underlined portion - Freudian slip - thought that was amusing 'hikers' trapped at Camps 1 through 4 ! Says a lot about how many amateurs are being given access (no view offered on that, people go because they can, want to or whatever their reasons, not for this person to judge anyway..) , 'hikers' huh! 

 

BN) ‘No One’s Going Back’: Everest Industry Shut for a Second Y
ear

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

‘No One’s Going Back’: Everest Industry Shut for a Second Year
2015-04-27 16:36:59.227 GMT


     (For additional earthquake coverage see EXT6.)

By Kartikay Mehrotra, Unni Krishnan and Tom Lasseter
     (Bloomberg) -- Ada Tsang remembers the ground shaking and
then trying to zip up a tent flap before the roaring ocean of
snow overtook her. Ice and rocks flew into her face and Tsang, a
high school teacher from Hong Kong, was slammed to the ground,
unconscious.
     “Everyone just yelled, ‘Run! Run!,’” she recalled as she
recovered in a Kathmandu hospital, her face cut and swollen and
her head bandaged all around. “Eventually it caught up and hit
everyone.”
     When she awoke, Tsang saw bodies strewn around Mount
Everest, just some of the victims claimed by the earthquake that
rocked Nepal on Saturday. The official death toll now numbers
more than 3,700 people, including 19 on the mountain. Those
figures will almost certainly increase.
     For the second consecutive year, fatal natural disasters
struck Mount Everest, hitting one of the most important revenue
sources in Asia’s second-poorest country. IHS, a consulting
firm, says rebuilding costs could “easily exceed” $5 billion.
That’s about one fifth of the annual output of the mostly
agrarian economy, which depends on tourism and remittances for
foreign exchange. 


                          $50,000 Each

     Since New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepali Tenzing
Norgay reached the summit in 1953, more than 4,000 people have
followed, creating a sizable industry. Websites for American
expedition companies advertise group trips to the top with
western and Nepali guides exceeding $50,000 per person and more
than twice that for ascents with a personal western guide. For a
sherpa, the job provides a salary of up to 700,000 Nepalese
rupees, said Bhim Paudel, operations manager for a trekking
company in Kathmandu. That’s about $6,900 in a nation where the
World Bank pegs per capita income at $750.
     Paudel said that he knows there are bodies of guides
waiting to be collected at the base camp. He hasn’t had time,
though, to think about compensation for their families.
     “Our first priority is the injured people,” he said.
“The dead people are already dead. There’s nothing you can do
for them.”
     It’s dangerous work.
     “People go to Everest knowing that there are risks,
objective dangers which they don’t have control of -- such as
traveling through the Khumbu Icefall from base camp to camp one,
the risk associated with mountaineering at very high altitude,”
said Tom Briggs, marketing director for Jagged Globe, a U.K.-
based company that leads groups to Everest. “But they don’t go
to Everest thinking they might be caught in an earthquake.”


                         Estimates Vary

     Estimates vary for how many people were on Everest when the
shaking earth triggered the avalanche.
     Paudel said there were about 1,000 at the time, of whom 400
were climbers and the rest porters and sherpas, the ethnic
Nepali group famed for leading hikers up the tallest mountain in
the world.
     Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of Nepal Mountaineering
Association, a group that promotes tourism, put the total at
800. He said he doesn’t expect “there will be more bodies
discovered” on Everest.
     It may be many days before there’s opportunity to comb the
mountain and see if he’s right.
     A group of light helicopters was able to dart up to a
higher-altitude camp Monday and ferry most of the 180 hikers
who’d gotten stuck on the mountainside down to Everest’s base

camp, said to still be inhabited by hundreds of people. An icy
stretch between the camps known as the Khumbu Icefall had been
rendered impassable.
     While Tsang recalls five people in her group perished, she
says she saw 30 to 40 bodies on the mountain.

                         Human Snowglobe

     The earthquake was described in a blog post by a guide
working for U.S.-based Rainier Mountaineering Inc., who was at a
camp at another mountain in Nepal, as feeling “as if we were
inside a snowglobe being shaken by God.”
     Paudel, sitting in the dimly lit offices of Himalayan
Guides Nepal as six men planned rescue operations, recalled the
2014 climbing season, which was canceled in Nepal after 16
guides died in an avalanche. He’s had enough of the mountain for
now.
     “Hopefully, people will stop coming this season,” he
said.
     The state newswire in China -– Everest straddles the Nepal-
China border -- reported on Monday that the country called off
all spring climbs on its side of the mountain.
     Briggs, of Jagged Globe, said that he “can’t imagine”
that tours will continue this season.
     “It’s difficult to think ahead to potential, future
Everest expeditions,” he said. A Google Inc. executive named
Dan Fredinburg, who traveled to Everest with Jagged Globe, was
among the dead.
     As she recalled the noise and the pain of her world turning
upside down, Ada Tsang sat near a makeshift ward of mattresses
on the ground under a tarp roof at the Swacon International
Hospital in the capital. Some patients refused to go inside to
get treatment for fear of another earthquake.
     As for Mount Everest, she said, “No one’s going back up
after what’s happened.”

post #7 of 10

The question in my mind is did the rescue of the climbers use resources (helicopters) that could have been used to rescue a larger number of Nepali's trapped in remote villages without food or water and with injured needing evacuation?  So far the reporting I have seen was from Katmandu, but undoubtedly there are places in the countryside with no communication to the outside world. Of course many of these villages are self sufficient, with low-rise buildings, and may be doing fine. Who knows at this point? Western tourists are no more or less important than Nepalis. In a situation like this resources should be used to help the greatest number, regardless of who they are. At this point whether rescuing the climbers was consistent with that goal or not is speculation. I will say that to say that tourists should have the first priority for rescue because of their importance to the economy is cynical in the extreme. 

post #8 of 10

"Elevation makes a difference"

 

The route above Camp 4 is famous for being immune to the power and wealth of the various humans who have died there. The living have been using your corpse as a landmark for a decade - you can't even pay anyone to get your dead body back down for a decent burial. Meanwhile a few thousand meters below at Base Camp one can still get to the front of the line if you have the resources.

 

Sometimes I wonder at the fluidity of human morals.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

The question in my mind is did the rescue of the climbers use resources (helicopters) that could have been used to rescue a larger number of Nepali's trapped in remote villages without food or water and with injured needing evacuation?  Of course they did. Non-western lives count less. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

The question in my mind is did the rescue of the climbers use resources (helicopters) that could have been used to rescue a larger number of Nepali's trapped in remote villages without food or water and with injured needing evacuation?  Of course they did. Non-western lives count less. 

It would appear so. http://www.tetongravity.com/story/adventure/the-day-that-changed-everything

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