At 10 a.m. local time massive a avalanche tumbled of from the shoulder of Nuptuse and swept across the path between camps one and two. When I say massive, I’m not kidding. Check out the lead photo on Outside Online’s story, which shows how the massive cloud of falling snow dwarfs the tiny dots of black that are the camp.
Considering the time of day and severity of the avalanche, it’s a miracle that only one person was badly hurt. The only person on the trail, which will have more than 50 hikers on it at at certain times of day, was Nima Sherpa, a Nepalese cook who was swept into crevasse.
Immediately after the avalanche a head count of all Everest teams was done, which required communication in five languages. It was determined that the man was missing, and all Everest teams pitched in to search for him. He was found in the crevasse, was hoisted out, and was evacuated by helicopter. Nima Sherpa had three broken ribs, two broken vertebrae, and had almost bitten right through his tongue.
That sounds pretty awful, but given that this avalanche could have potentially killed dozens, the climbers on Everest are counting their blessings.