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
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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