(Correne Coetzer) Sherpas want to return to help their relatives, others say their mountain is angry.
Aftershocks are still reported from the ‘other' 8000 meter peaks today and yesterday. Nobody is climbing. Chinese Tibetan Mountain Association suspended climbing in Tibet.
In Nepal some teams still have to decide if they want to go for the summit, but most have suspended their climbs and wait in the mountains for flights to resume out of Kathmandu before they go there. The climbers are also willing to put their skills to use in the villages and Kathmandu.
On Everest south side, most climbers have now been airlifted from high camps (find this and more in the Exweb news/dispatch feed section).
Dhaulagiri - does not want to hold up helicopters
Italian Marco Confortola reported yesterday that they still felt aftershocks and didn’t find them acceptable. He thinks he should be leaving BC in a few days, snowfall permitting. The team wants to go down to the villages as soon as possible as they have heard of the needs and wants to try to help as far as they can. For many years Marco was part of a ski patrol and his knowledge to handle situations like this could help a lot, reported his home team.
Marco does not want to use the helicopters because there are far worse situations and interventions that must be carried out in the immediate future, he stated. He gave some food and other necessities to nearby trekkers who were in need.
Makalu - main wall between ABC and Camp 1 partially collapsed
On April 25, The Belgian team was getting down from Camp 2 (6400 m) when they felt the earthquake for the first time. "Suddenly the ground under our feet starts to shake. We rush out of the mess tent and see an avalanche of snow and rocks behind us, falling from the slopes of Makalu to the bottom. On the other side we also see some seracs falling down but all of them far away from the camp. According to two Austrians, the main wall between ABC and Camp 1 have partially collapsed but we will only be able to see this in a few days.” Yesterday they were resting in Advanced Base Camp (ABC), 5700m.
Their Belgian team mate in Kathmandu reported yesterday, "People walked frightened to the middle of the street and waited in fear. Later, it was announced that this was a shock just over 6 on the Richter scale. The earth has not calmed down yet and most people sleep outside. Nobody dares to open his shop or restaurant. Poor connections to the Internet and mobile network. Electricity is constantly down. No domestic flights today.”
More Makalu: climbing feels unsettling
Adrian Hayes reported today from Makalu, although no firm plans have been decided they had their Puja ceremony this morning at ABC, followed by a meeting with all the team heads. "The decision agreed was to re-convene on Thursday 30th and then decide on plans. High up in the mountains you sometimes have to make hasty decisions; here at ABC hasty decisions may not be in the best interests of anyone here or in Nepal – e.g. a decision to withdraw putting even more pressure on transport, accommodation and food than staying put at ABC where we are fully self-sufficient.”
He added: "Personally speaking, however, it feels somewhat unsettling and uncomfortable about continuing a climb when so much tragedy has hit the country, although everyone has to make that decision for themselves.”
Young Arjun Vajpai reported in a video, it is safer on Makalu than in Kathmandu.
Martina Bauer reported, it is not clear if her Makalu expedition will be continued. Sherpa want to return and help their relatives.
Annapurna - a snow globe being shaken by God
Alexander Barber reported all are safe in BC. "The earthquake was so forceful it felt like the inside a snow globe being shaken by God."
Avalanches were all around them. On his summit attempt, at 7000m he decided not to go for the summit. On the way down he had life threatening experiences. Eventually he and a Sherpa from the summit team, who reached him, reached BC in zero visibility and heavy snowfall and without safety lines.
"In the reduced visibility we wove through large ice blocks of avalanche debris by GPS. We moved with baited breath – hoping not to hear that tell tale rumble that has become such a familiar sound to me here at Annapurna. After having been on the move on a very scary mountain, in terrible weather, for 11 hours I finally arrived at Base Camp at 8:40pm that night.”
He added: "Three of the 5 teams here at Base Camp are leaving, The team that attempted the summit blew their oxygen supply. Another team’s Sherpas bailed because of concerns that Annapurna wasn’t to be climbed this year. The mountain is angry. Yet another small team’s permit has run out. He stated, "Annapurna sounds extremely unstable right now."
Carlos Soria reported from BC where they wait for a helicopter to take them to Kathmandu to help with the relief work.
Al Hancock reported that they came into camp after a failed summit attempt when the avalanche struck. They were buried in their tents, and had to use knives to cut their way out. "It was a tragedy in itself. Then after that, myself and two Sherpas had to do a rescue of a team mate.”
Cho Oyo - suspended by CTMA
The Amical Alpin team (guide, Thomas Laemmle) reported they are safe at ABC and that they can still feel some afterquakes. They were on their way to Camp 1 when the first quake hit.
Activities on the mountain are suspended by CTMA (Chinese Tibetan Mountain Association). They are all well and did some hiking in the ABC area today, reported team mate Harald Bauer.
No new news. Probably the CTMA also suspended their climb.
Other regions - High altitude speed flier reports
High altitude speed-flier Mal Haskins was in Boudha Nath at the time of the quake and reports on the conditions in more remote areas:
Lukla - Namche: cut off and impassable
Namche: a number of houses totally destroyed
Pheriche: mostly destroyed
Villages below Lukla: destroyed
Langtang and Helambu Region: Major devastation landslides and villages wiped out
Ghorka region: Outlying villages totally flattened
Currently stuck in Kathmandu, Mal and Sophia will try to get to Pokhara and other areas together with locals bringing tarapulins, food, water and medicine. This donation page will allow Nima (a local friend) and his family get food, medicine etc to the effected regions. "There will be no administration charges or any other fee to come out of your donation - 100% of it goes directly to the recipents," states Haskins, who is an IFMGA / NZMGA Mountain and Ski Guide.
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