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  Mt. Everest 2005: Huge Avalanche hits Camp One on Everest: A Miracle on Everest?


This morning at 5:24 o'clock, a huge avalanche destroyed camp 1 almost completely. The camp consisted of about 60 to 70 tents and only five of them were unaffected, among them that of our expedition.

Per hazard, I (Olaf) went down to the base camp this morning. So I, along with 5 Sherpas was one of the first at the catastrophe site, about one and a half hour after the disaster. And I will never forget this view. Where the colorful city of tents was there was a white expanse of ruins made of ice and rocks. First I passed the five intact tents, luckily the one of our expedition among them. Three persons were just making a radio contact to the base camp. They told us what happened. It takes about 5- 10 minutes from this point to get to the main camp 1. When setting our camp 1, we thought that this more advanced site would be more secure, which turned to be true. When we reached the main camp 1, there was a horror view: Complete destruction.

We found two injured under ruins. They had provisionally rebuilt a tent and were waiting for aid there. Two sherpas already cared for them. Another three injured called for help when they saw us. Carefully, we tried to get closer to them. This was very dangerous because the ways between the tents were not visible anymore and there are some cleavages in this area. We asked them what injuries they have and to what expedition they belong. All of them could answer and one of them wanted to descend of his own power. They told us that they belong to a big commercial expedition and asked us to descend to the basecamp in order to organize the rescue.

Because we had not any tools and only a tiny first-aid kit, I decided to follow their request. After about three forth of the descent to the basecamp, we met the first helpers. Apparently, the basecamp was already informed.

At the moment, nobody knows how many people have spent the night in camp 1. Three tent sites with 8 persons have survived the catastrophe. Because most expeditions use camp 1 only as an interim and depot camp, these 8 persons could be the only ones there when the avalanche came down.

when I phoned with Olaf last time, it still seems that, like a miracle, there are no deaths due to this avalanche

This is the German report, more coming...

 

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