Saturday, April 25, 2015

Climber Update Everest Base Camp Earthquake

Email from Gabriel Filippi, climbing Lhotse 2015' Expedition

Hi Becky and Tim.
As you now heard, Nepal is being hit hard with this earthquake. We heard Phortse , Khumjung and possibly Namche hitted hard. 
As for basecamp, it is a complete chaos and mess. It was closed to noon when I got out of my tent and the intensity of earthquake was felt. The ground was moving and shaking really hard. I then heard a big woosh. I turned around and saw thru the snow and fog this massive cloud of annavalanche coming from Pumori. It was covering the entire backdrop of basecamp. i yelled run to the people in the area. Even if we are at the end of the basecamp, I had a hard time breathing while hiding behind a huge rock. Only Himex , IMG and us were spared damage. Most hitted are AC, JG, Dreamers Destination, MM/RMI with camps completely destroyed and loss of Sherpas and climbers. I immediately took my medical kit and went with my friend Sylvie who is anesthesiologist. We didnt stop until 6pm trying to save life. At that point all injured were in 4 mess tents( 3 IMG, 1 Asian trekking). Some are badly injured, lots of head injuries open skull. Weather not permitting heli rescue, we will lose some more. Some are missing, dont know if they ran down or died in khumbu (avalanche triggered there plus Nuptse avalanche). Doctors are monitoring injured ones tonight and  other group of doctors will rotate tomorrow morning. Numbers of deaths is unknown, it range between 12 and 27 right now. Too much of a mess at this point in time. Praying for good weather . People at C1,C2 are okay but the way back down could be a challenge as fixed rope condition is unknown. 
I think everyone will end their expedition. We were already way behind schedule. Now with many teams without camp sherpas etc, it is time to take care of injured ones and then go home. Russell is in KTM, he was trying to solve the Pakistan government new rule of Sherpa not allowed to climb in Pakistan. 

Bedtime before another long day ahead. 


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