SA adventurer tells of bodies, terror on mountain

2015-04-27 14:27
Five South Africans at the Everest base camp. From left: Donna McTaggart, Sean Wisedale, Saray Khumalo Marlette Hegyi and Wilmien van der Merwe. (Netwerk24)

Five South Africans at the Everest base camp. From left: Donna McTaggart, Sean Wisedale, Saray Khumalo Marlette Hegyi and Wilmien van der Merwe. (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Sean Wisedale, the first South African to summit the world's seven highest peaks, recounted surviving the avalanche on Everest as a result of the earthquake and aftershocks that hit Nepal on the weekend.

Netwerk24 reports Wisedale is updating his blog from the Everest base camp since the area was rocked by the earthquake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale.

He described the terror experienced when the "mountains and glaciers started trembling", and how it wiped out stones and rocks on its path of destruction.

Hundreds of tents in the middle of the base camp were hit, Netwerk24 reported.

Wisedale and his group's tents were protected by a rock, but they could not escape being hit by a shard of crystalised ice which fell from a height of about 100m.

He also described how his heart literally misses a beat every time he hears a rumble. Wisedale wrote that they thought about evacuating the base camp, but they had no place to go.

The adventurer wrote on Monday that he had seen at least three bodies, lying frozen in the ground.

South Africans trapped

Earlier on Monday, Netwerk24 reported that at least 10 South Africans were trapped on Mount Everest following the avalanche, the group Ubuntu Everest said.

Among the trapped South Africans was Saray Khumalo, a 43-year-old from Johannesburg, who was preparing to become the first black woman to climb the famous peak on May 20.

On Sunday, Khumalo sent an SMS to Ubuntu Everest stating she had experienced the earthquake, but was safe.

The other South Africans in the group are Lysle Turner, Ronnie Muhl, Donna McTaggart, Elizabeth Bool, Marlette Hegyi, Wilmien van der Merwe, Nico Oosthuizen and Katlego Letheo.

They are believed to be safe, but it is still uncertain how they will come down from the mountain.

Read more on:    nepal  |  nepal earthquake  |  natural disasters

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