Yesterday, after narrowly surviving the tragic avalanche, our Sherpa team on the mountain heroically worked for many hours at the site of the accident freeing many of the injured and the casualties. Our team can not even begin to express the depth of the respective and gratitude we have for these valiant men. It is an honor to be associated with all of them.
At this time (11:00am Nepali) the SBCC has closed the Khumbu Ice Fall to all traffic today to allow the recovery teams to complete their work. Three recovery teams are at or near the site of the accident. Garrett Madison is leading team 1 that is primarily working to extricate the body of our Sirdar from the ice. Team 1 also bravely includes our own Jangbu Sherpa who survived the avalanche yesterday. Our respect is unfathomable. Team 2 led by Damian Benegas, is sweeping the area searching for the missing victims and will attempt recovery of those found. Finally Team 3, headed by Melissa Arnot, is providing the incident command near the site. Russell Brice is coordinating the helicopters and base camp communications from the HRA heli pad in EBC.
To my knowledge the only team above is IMG. They are safe and were moving today from camp 1 to camp 2 to continue their acclimatization.
More details as we have them.
[UPDATE: 1:30pm – recovery team successfully extracted our Sirdar and his body has been flown to Kathmandu. No sign of the other missing Sherpa was found. Entire set of recovery teams are off the mountain and back in base camp]
The photo above, courtesy of AAI’s Andy Tyson, was taken yesterday near the site. Included in the photo are some of the rescue and recovery personnel (left to right): Ben Jones, Melissa Arnot, Dave Hahn, Damian Benegas, Rob Casserly, two unnamed Sherpa, and Jeffery Justman.