Sherpa climbers have resumed a search for four missing guides after an ice avalanche swept the lower slopes of Mount Everest.
At least 12 people were killed in the deadliest accident on the world’s highest mountain.
Shocked relatives have also been left to wonder about how they will cope without the men who take huge risks to earn up to 5,000 euros for a two-month expedition – around 10 times average annual pay in the isolated mountain kingdom.
“He was the only bread winner in the family,” said 17-year-old Phinjum Sherpa, as she waited for the body of her uncle, Tenji Sherpa, at a Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu. “I am shaken now the family has no one to support it. We have no one to take care of us.”
The ice avalanche struck a perilous passage called the Khumbu Icefall, which is riddled with crevasses and piled with seracs – massive ice boulders or columns that can break free without warning.
Although relatively low on the mountain, climbers say it is one of the most dangerous points on Mount Everest. There are, however, no safer paths along the famous South Col route first scaled by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.