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with Stefan Nestler

Help for families of avalanche victims on Everest

Snow banner on Everest

Snow banner on Everest

Waiting for the calm after the storm. Currently the wind is blowing strongly in the summit region of Mount Everest – with speeds up to 60 knots (about 110 km per hour). A summit attempt of one of the about ten teams on the Tibetan north side of the mountain is out of question. Not until 16 May a good weather window with low wind is expected. On the south side of Everest, according to the U.S. expedition leader Eric Simonsen, the “Icefall doctors” brought down their ladders and ropes from the Khumbu Icefall. Until next season, the material is deposited in a storage in Gorak Shep, the last permanently inhabited small village near Mount Everest at 5200 meters. Thus there will be definitely no climb to the 8850-meter-high summit from the Nepalese side this spring. This week in Kathmandu, the Japanese climber Ken Noguchi presented on behalf of his environmental protection organization “Seven Summits Actions for Sustainable Society” a donation of $ 100,000 to Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).

NMA to coordinate the aid

With the money that Noguchi collected in Japan, the families of the 16 victims of the avalanche on Everest (look at the moving video of the New York Times “Last minutes on Everest” below) shall be supported. The Nepalese government has commissioned the NMA to ensure the education of the children of these families.

Ang Tshering announced that his association was in the process of creating a relief fund to which the NMA would add a matching sum. “We are receiving emails and phone calls from our friends around the world with the interest to support the family members”, said Ang Tshering. In many countries climbers have started charity projects for the relatives of the avalanche victims – such as German doctor and mountaineer Matthias Baumann, who was at Everest base camp when the avalanche came down:

In 1999, Ken Noguchi became, at the age of 25, the youngest person at that time to scale the “Seven Summits”, the highest mountains of all continents. The cancellation of an entire climbing season on the Nepalese side of Everest like this spring should not repeat, the 40-year-old Japanese said: “If this happens again, foreigners will give up on Mount Everest.” Or switch to the Tibetan side of the mountain. The blind Austrian climber Andy Holzer is planning to do that next year. “I want to walk away from the chaos that has arisen on the Nepalese side. I do not want to become a pawn in the hand of the Nepalese government and the Sherpas”, the 47-year-old said after his return from Nepal.


9. May 2014 | 21:47