Ueli Steck* Nepal

Mount Everest at night.     Photo: Grayson Schaffer

Nepal Death Toll Continues to Rise

18 dead on Everest


12:05 p.m. April 27

The BBC has posted drone footage of the destruction in Kathmandu:

Famed mountain runner Kilian Jornet has announced that he is "modifying" his plans to attempt a record ascent and descent on Everest this year, but it's unclear whether he has decided to cancel them. For now, he will travel to Kathmandu to help with relief efforts:

Google employee Dan Fredinburg died during the avalanche while on assignment to bring the mountain to Street View. Two of his friends remember him as a warm-hearted adventurist.

In the avalanche that engulfed Base Camp on April 25, Dan Fredinburg was among the 18 killed.   Photo: Max Goldstein


11:22 p.m. April 26

DigitalGlobe has opened access to satellite data of Nepal. It’s launching a crowdsourcing campaign to catalog the earthquake’s destruction. 


10:45 p.m. April 26

Outfitters are reporting that those trapped in Camps I and II are now being evacuated by helicopters to Base Camp.

 

We are very pleased to confirm that all climbers and climbing sherpa have been evacuated by helicopter from Camps One...

Posted by Adventure Consultants on Sunday, April 26, 2015

7:55 p.m. April 26

National Geographic has a comprehensive first-hand account of the devestation on the mountain. 

“Everything was trauma,” said Ben Ayers, an American living in Nepal who is executive director of the Dzi Foundation and happened to be in Lukla at the time of the earthquake. “There were lots of broken bones, broken backs, broken pelvises…” Four patients appeared to have died en route to Kathmandu, Ayers said.

“A couple were dead when we took them out of the helicopter,” he said, noting that the remains of victims who perished at Base Camp had been collected in Pheriche and not prioritized for further transport while so many others remained in critical need.


6:30 p.m. April 26

Outside senior editor Grayson Schaffer has filed his latest report.

In the coming days, the weather is expected to start clear enough to allow aviation in the mornings and deteriorate into snowfall by the afternoon. EverestWeather.com forecaster Michael Fagin continues to predict up to ten inches of snow on Tuesday, though some models call for up to 20 inches. The ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation has already indicated that the Everest climbing season is finished. This year, that decision will spark little controversy.


2:28 p.m. April 26

The first authentic video footage from Base Camp has emerged.


11:35 a.m. April 26

ICYMI: Shocking account from Base Camp.

The areas of the middle of Base Camp that I mentioned that got dusted were actually COMPLETELY DESTROYED. 40-50% of Base Camp is gone. 


9:27 a.m. April 26

A number of videos and photos of the avalanche are circulating on Twitter and Instagram, but the Wall Street Journal has some of the first verified examples we’ve seen. 


8:32 a.m. April 26

Our sources on the mountain report that a few flights were able to make it into Camp I and Camp II. Some climbers tried to reach Base Camp through the icefall but retreated to Camp I following the powerful aftershock.


5:00 a.m. April 26

The Guardian is reporting that an aftershock shook the valley almost as strongly as Saturday's initial quake. 

Some 100 climbers are trapped at higher camps on the mountain, according to the Nepal Mountaineering Association. The latest earthquake—measured at 6.7 on the Richter scale—came as climbers at camps one and two were apparently trying to find a new route back through the Khumbu icefall, which is blocking their descent to the devastated base camp where at least 17 climbers died on Saturday and 61 more were injured.

 


8:01 p.m. April 25

According to TIME and Outside sources in Nepal, helicopters have evacacuted the critically injured from Base Camp.

Twenty-two of the most seriously injured had already been taken by helicopter for treatment in the village of Pheriche, the location of the nearest medical facility. But bad weather and communications were hampering more helicopter flights, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

 

Dr Nima thanks for the photo of the first of what we hope are many Heli evacs for our patients in base camp.

Posted by Everest ER on Saturday, April 25, 2015

 


Original News Post
At around 11:56 a.m. local time, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, leveling many of the country’s poorly constructed brick and stone buildings. The quake was centered about 50 miles northeast of the capital of Kathmandu, where thousands are presumed dead.

The Khumbu Region, home to Mount Everest and the Sherpa villages, were not spared from the devastation. Sherpas working on Everest’s north side were able to contact their families in the village of Phortse, where several houses were reported collapsed, some with people inside.

In Everest Base Camp, on the south side of the mountain, a massive ice avalanche coming off of Pumori (23,494 feet), which faces Everest, sent ice and other debri through tents, killing and injuring climbers. According to reports from the mountain, at least 15 people are in critical condition. Meanwhile the BBC is reporting that at least eight people in Base Camp have died. Climbers who were on the route or in Camps I and II have checked in reporting that they are safe but stranded. The route through the Khumbu Icefall has been destroyed and no helicopter flights were able to make the trip up the valley after the quake due to weather.

While doctors have been too busy caring for the injured to report in, radio traffic tells a story of a desperate situation. The Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) camp was badly damaged in the avalanche. Doctors and paramedics are currently using the International Mountain Guides camp as their base of operations. The Himalayan Experience camp is being used to house uninjured climbers who’ve lost their camps.

When the sun comes up in Nepal in a few hours, it’s likely to rise on a scene of devastation not seen since the Haiti earthquake of 2008. Construction in Nepal is prone to collapse. In 1988, a magnitude 6.8 quake centered along the India-Nepal border killed roughly 1,500 people and injured more than 16,000.

Given the scale of the devastation, it’s hard to see how Everest’s climbing season can possibly continue. This would be the second year without a season following the deadly avalanche that killed 16 local workers on April 18, 2014.


Check back here for more coverage as the story develops.

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