Tragedy struck Nepal today, April 18th, 2014, as a fatal avalanche swept down a climbing route taking the lives of at least thirteen Sherpa guides. Seven more are believed to be missing, as rescue teams continue to search.
The avalanche is thought to be the deadliest climbing disaster to ever occur at Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak.
At around 6:45 local time in an area known as the “popcorn field,” an avalanche struck just above base camp at 19,000 ft. A group of about 50 climbers, mostly Sherpas, were moving from Camp I to Camp II when a serac fell off the mountain burying them under the snow.
Six people are in the hospital recovering from injuries, two of whom were brought to Kathmandu for medical treatment.
BBC reported that the Sherpa guides had climbed up the slope early in the morning to fix ropes for climbers and prepare the route for mountaineers.
Rescue operations continue today with the help of three rescue helicopters on the search for missing bodies.
The last major tragedy at Everest on May 11th, 1996 killed eleven climbers during a storm - eight on the Nepal side of the mountain and three on the China side.
Stay tuned to TheSkiChannel.com for updated information.