‘What we see is horrible’

Dutch climber Eric Arnold, who was in Nepal’s Mount Everest region when a lethal earthquake struck, described Saturday’s avalanche on his blog:

“11:45 lying in my tent, it seems like someone is shaking my tent. I think it’s a joke. Not much time later, the shaking of the tent turns into shaking of the ground and it gets harder and harder. I realize — earthquake!! When I open my tent zipper, I see three sides of the gigantic avalanche come down. … Not much later I realize that the base camp is getting hit. Arnold [fellow climber] beckons me to come to the mess tent. I run the 20 meters to the tent, midway through the avalanche skims me.

“I totally lost my sense of direction. Then I storm into the tent. My ears are filled to the brim with snow. In five seconds, I look like the abominable snowman. It is now an hour after the avalanche. Details about the victims, I do not know. Our plan to walk to the Pumori base camp, the site of a huge avalanche, will not turn out.”

He added this update later:

“What we see is horrible. Everywhere there are tents, personal belongings and climbing gear. … A makeshift infirmary has been set up. Many victims have head injuries and are in bad shape. Around me I hear reports of 10 to 30 dead. A Japanese climber shows me horrible pictures on his phone. They make me shiver. Base camp now seems like a refugee camp. … I’m terrified that I’ll find a body.”

The next worry for Everest climbers after recovering avalanche survivors will be descending from the mountain. According to the Twitter account Northmen PK, which curates mountaineering and climbing news from European trekkers, Everest climbers were stuck on the mountain for now because of destroyed routes.

“Everest all teams in camp 1 and camp 2 are reporting they are safe but stuck because route is destroyed.”

Washington Post