A group of injured sherpas has returned to Kathmandu, bearing the scars of earthquake-triggered avalanches around Mount Everest. The men know the
A group of injured sherpas has returned to Kathmandu, bearing the scars of earthquake-triggered avalanches around Mount Everest.
The men know the Himalayas better than anyone, yet their haunted and bruised faces bear witness to the horror of what they have experienced.
For anxious relatives waiting in Nepal’s capital, relief at their return is overwhelming.
“The tents everywhere were blown away,” one of the sherpas said.
“There were none left at all. We are not sure how many victims there were.”
Also battered and bruised, but a fellow survivor, US documentary filmmaker Michael Churton made it back from base camp.
“It was like 4,000 feet of snow just kind of coming and there was nowhere to run,” he said.
“So I told everybody to get down and then put my hands over my head and just buried myself as much as I could. And basically snow hit. It was about 45 seconds or a minute for it to go by.
“Everything was gone. All our tents were gone and then people were pushed. The guy who stood in front of me was now 30 feet over there. And we are missing one person. We don’t know if she is alive or dead.”
At this start of the climbing season, at least 18 people are confirmed dead in the single worst disaster to hit the world’s highest mountain.