At Least 13 Sherpas Dead As Avalanche Sweeps Mount Everest - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

At Least 13 Sherpas Dead As Avalanche Sweeps Mount Everest

Posted: Updated:
KATMANDU, Nepal (NBC) - An avalanche swept down a slope of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least 13 people in the mountain's deadliest disaster.

NBC News confirmed that all of the dead were Sherpa guides.

The guides had gone early in the morning to fix the ropes for hundreds of climbers when the avalanche hit them just below Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m. local time, Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal told The Associated Press.

Tilak Ram Pandey, an official at the ministry's mountaineering department, later told Reuters that some other people were thought to be missing.

Hundreds of climbers, their guides and support guides had gathered at the base camp, gearing up for their final attempt to scale the 29,035-foot peak early next month when weather conditions get favorable. They have been setting up their camps at higher altitudes and guides fixing routes and ropes on the slopes ahead of the final ascend to the summit in May.

As soon as the avalanche hit, rescuers and fellow climbers rushed to help. A helicopter was also sent.

Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said that the area where the avalanche occurred is nicknamed the "popcorn field," which is just below Camp 2 at 21,000 feet.

Nepal had earlier announced several steps this year to better manage the flow of climbers, minimize congestion and speed up rescue operations. The preparations included the dispatch of officials and security personnel to the base camp located at 17,380 feet, where they would stay throughout the spring climbing season that ends in May.

More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Nearly 250 others have died on the mountain.

The worst recorded disaster on Everest was on May 11, 1996, when eight climbers were killed in one day because of a storm near the summit. Six Nepalese guides were killed in an avalanche in 1970.

— Sarah Burke of NBC News, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Security breach had no impact on local Goodwill stores

    Security breach had no impact on local Goodwill stores

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 1:31 AM EDT2014-09-03 05:31:33 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Goodwill stores in Eastern Washington and North Idaho were not impacted by a data security beach last month, according to a company spokeswoman. In July, Goodwill Industries International announced some store locations may have been affected by a data security issue involving the company's party vendor for payment processing.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Goodwill stores in Eastern Washington and North Idaho were not impacted by a data security beach last month, according to a company spokeswoman. In July, Goodwill Industries International announced some store locations may have been affected by a data security issue involving the company's party vendor for payment processing.More >>
  • New Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Sworn In

    New Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Sworn In

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:18:05 GMT
    The Coeur d'Alene Police Department swore in Lee White as the new chief of police Tuesday. White says his first priority is to go on what he calls a "listening tour." The goal is to hear from both police and the community to bridge the gap between officers and the public. "There needs to be a tangible sense of how we expect our department members to act," Chief White said. White's swearing in comes at a time when the gap between police and the public is wide. The department has been under ...More >>
    The Coeur d'Alene Police Department swore in Lee White as the new chief of police Tuesday. White says his first priority is to go on what he calls a "listening tour." The goal is to hear from both police and the community to bridge the gap between officers and the public. "There needs to be a tangible sense of how we expect our department members to act," Chief White said. White's swearing in comes at a time when the gap between police and the public is wide. The department has been under ...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.