Climber Films Deadly Avalanche Wiping Out Part of Mt. Everest Base Camp
Dozens of injured climbers are trapped on Mt. Everest after multiple avalanches triggered by the deadly Nepal earthquake slammed into the base camp this weekend, the New York Times reports.
At least 17 climbers and Sherpas were killed by the falling snow while another 37 were injured, Nepalese officials tell the Times. Another 800 or so climbers are reportedly trapped in the base camp awaiting rescue.
While avalanches are common in the Everest base camp area—a similar wall of snow killed 16 climbers last year—the severity of the earthquake aftershocks are hampering rescue efforts, the Washington Post reports. Via the Post:
The wind that accompanied the avalanche “completely pulverized and blew the camp away,” American climber Jon Kedrowski, who was at the base camp, wrote on his blog Sunday. “Many of the injuries were similar to ones you might see in the Midwest when a tornado hits, with contusions and lacerations from flying debris. Head injuries, broken legs, internal injuries, impalements also happened to people. Some people were picked up and tossed across the glacier for a hundred yards.”
He continued: “People in tents were wrapped up in them, lifted by the force of the blast and then slammed down onto rocks, glacial moraine and ice on the glacier.”
Another climber tells the Post, via Facebook, that people trapped higher up on the mountain are “getting desperate.”
Among the dead, the Times reports, was Google engineer Dan Fredinburg, who had reportedly been working on a project to bring Street View into the wilderness.
By Sunday evening, the overall Nepal death toll was as high as 2,789, according to the AP.
Update 11:19 p.m.
The AP reports the death toll has risen to more than 3,200.