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  Mt Everest 2006: Alpine Ascents Everest 2006: Deaths in the Icefall


 

Base Camp – Deaths in the icefall

I’m sad to be giving you all the news that the big collapse in the icefall yesterday claimed the lives of three sherpas and injured four others. Missing underneath the ice are Dawa Temba and Lakpa Tsherri, both working for the Asian Trekking expedition led by Apa Sherpa, and Phinzo (I hope this spelling is close) who was working for International Mountain Guides. Groups of rescuers immediately headed for the site but the three sherpas were buried too deeply beneath the ice and nothing could be done. There will be no body recovery. Our own Dave Morton and Lakpa Rita Sherpa were among the rescuers. Dave talked to many of the sherpas at the accident site and determined that a group of as many as 10 sherpas from several different expeditions were carrying loads at the upper end of the icefall when a huge ice tower collapsed right above them. The first ice tower caused a second tower and part of an ice wall to disintegrate, hitting the group with blocks of ice and sweeping three of the sherpas to their deaths. Four others were injured, but none seriously, and all made their way back to base camp for treatment at the Himalayan Rescue Association clinic within two hours. Our own Kami Rita (Thapkee) Sherpa was hit in the shoulder with a block of ice. He has extensive bruising but the docs report that nothing seems to be broken or dislocated. He is resting and recovering at base camp.

Our climbing team was below the site when the accident took place. After talking the matter over they decided to continue on their way to Camp 1, where they spent last night. We should have an additional report directly from the team at Camp 1.

Today I visited the Asian Trekking and International Mountain Guide leaders to extend sympathy from our team to their teams and to the families of the missing sherpas. There were also many additional puja ceremonies last night and today throughout base camp.

Ellie Henke
Base Camp Manager

Dispatch Index

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