At around 6:45 local time in an area known as the “popcorn field,” in the Khumbu Icefalls, 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. The death toll is up to 16 people as of April 21st, with at least half dozen people injured, this is the deadliest accident on Mount Everest.
Adrian Ballinger, a world recognized heli-ski and mountaineering guide and is the CEO/founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, gave us insight about the avalanche and his experiences at that location on Mt. Everest. Adrian has summited Mt. Everest 6 times and has exclusive footage from the year before of the exact spot, known as the Khumbu Icefall, where the avalanche broke recently. The Khumbu Icefalls is an essentially a river of ice with deep crevasses and huge overhanging immensities that can be as high a ten-story buildings, according to ABC News. The overhanging glacier seracs on the Icefall itself can break off any moment and send thousands of tons down the mountain, which is exactly what happened on Friday, April 18th 2014.
Climbing through the Khumbu Icefalls is always something guides and mountaineers have feared. Watch Adrian’s personal video of the climbing through the ’Corridor of Calamity, Khumbu Icefall’. Adrian is in the the exact same location of the recent avalanche, traveling through the icefall which broke and sent thousands of tons of ice down the mountain towards the climbers and sherpas. Adrian explains that the key to moving through the Icefall is speed, because you never know when the huge ice seracs are going to break and fall.
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Adrian shares his insight on his experience and what is next for his Everest team.
“In the aftermath of the April 18, 2014 avalanche on Everest, thoughts of the families of the lost and injured Sherpa will strongly stay in our hearts.
The Alpenglow 2014 team left home for Nepal this weekend, with heavy hearts, but also with a strong resolve to help in any way we can. While our Sherpa team is safe and accounted for, there are other families who are suffering – not only the tragic loss of family members – but the fear of not being able to support themselves after the loss of their loved one.
We believe the Sherpa families who lost loved ones need financial and emotional support. The Khumbu Climbing Center has set up a fund for the widows and orphans at www.active.com/donate/widowsandorphansfund and you can also donate through the Juniper Fund at www.thejuniperfund.org/.
Adrian Ballinger, a lead guide for Alpenglow Expeditions, is currently in Katmandu, Nepal. Meetings with the government have begun to decide whether or not sherpa and teams will climb Everest during the 2014 spring climbing season. Go here to find out the latest information and updates from sherpa.”
Here is a beautiful video of the sun rising over Mount Everest by Alpenglow Expeditions. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those suffering the loss of a loved one.
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