Everest: SA climbers head back to base camp

2014-04-21 15:46

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Johannesburg - Two South African climbers were heading back to base camp after talk of a possible second avalanche on Mount Everest, an update on the Facebook page for the mountaineers read on Monday.

"Saray [Khumalo] and Sibusiso [Vilane] are on their way down from Lobuche East to Everest Base Camp (EBC)," Ubuntu Everest said.

"There is talk of another avalanche if the remaining block of ice from Friday will come loose."

This followed an ice avalanche on Friday which killed 13 guides when it smashed into their expedition. Nine people were plucked to safety.

News agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Sunday the search for Nepalese guides still missing was suspended due to bad weather.

Photos of Khumalo, who is seeking to be the first black woman to summit Everest, with a group of people holding the South African flag at Lobuche East were posted on the Ubuntu Everest page on Monday.

The caption read: "Saray at Lobuche East. Ubuntu Everest summited Lobuche East peak on Sunday 20 April 2014. Thanks for all the prayers and support. Now it is off to base camp."

The Facebook page was started to provide updates about the two South African climbers.

Mount Everest is the world's largest mountain.

City Press reported on Sunday that the two were at base camp on Friday morning when the avalanche occurred around 500m further up the mountain.

Vilane, the first black African to climb Everest, sent a message soon afterwards to say that he and his fellow South African climbers were safe.

On Monday, AFP reported that expedition leaders threatened to cancel all climbing on the mountain.

- SAPA

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