“Earthquake Devastates Nepal, Killing More than 1,200” by Ellen Barry, April 25, 2015
“The earthquake set off avalanches on Mount Everest, where several hundred trekkers were attempting an ascent, according to climbers there. Alex Gavan, a hiker at base camp, called it a “huge disaster” on Twitter and described “running for life from my tent.” Nima Namgyal Sherpa, a tour guide at base camp, said in a Facebook post that many camps had been destroyed.
Ten people died on Mount Everest after the earthquake, Nepalese officials said.”
“At Least 10 Everest Climbers Killed as Nepal Quake Sets Off Avalanche” by Gardiner Harris, April 25, 2015.
Last year’s avalanche and the outrage among the Sherpas over their pay and safety conditions forced the cancellation of the climbing season, a key part of Nepal’s tourism industry. Whether this year’s avalanche would result in a similar shutdown was unclear Saturday.
Tourism accounts for much of Nepal’s economy, with Everest one of the country’s biggest draws. And though money generated by people who climb the celebrated peak constitutes only a relatively small part of the country’s overall economy, it represents one of the few ways men can earn a living in Nepal.
Foreign climbers pay professional tour companies and Western guides as much as $100,000 to climb, with assistance, the 29,000-foot (8,848 meters) peak. Sherpas are hired at about $125 per climb per legal load (set at 20 pounds) to ease paying climbers’ path up the mountain.
The tour agencies pay several thousand dollars per climber to the Nepalese government for a climbing license, and those fees have brought the government $3 million to $4 million annually in recent years. There is also the money to the local economy for hotel rooms, dining and cellphone rentals, as well as the hiring of local help to carry trekkers’ supplies up the mountain to camp.
More information from CNN (2:10)
Before and After photos