Local skier Greg Hill has survived an avalanche that swept over his camp on Nepal’s Mount Manaslu killing at least nine other climbers.
According to the Times of India, the avalanche hit the climbers at a camp at 7,000 metres (22,960 feet) early in Sunday morning as they were preparing to head toward the summit, which is 8,156 metres (26,760 feet) high.
“A huge avalanche swept through Camp 3 at 4:45 a.m. on Manaslu, catching lots of people in their sleeping bags, many dead, and injured,” Hill wrote on his Facebook page. “Luckily our team is fine, and helped with the rescue.”
Family friend Frank Desrosiers said Hill will be home in Revelstoke in about a week. Meanwhile, Hill’s wife, Tracy, and members of his family have been inundated with phone calls from reporters around the world. The Current does not plan on speaking with members of his family at this time, although it would like to interview Hill when he returns.
According to the Times of India five climbers were rescued. Police inspector Basant Mishra said the bodies of a German climber and a Nepali guide were recovered from the snow on the 8,163-metre (26,781-foot) Mount Manaslu, about 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Kathmandu.
“Rescue pilots have spotted seven other bodies on the mountain,” Mishra said. At least five injured people had been rescued by helicopters and flown to Kathmandu, he said.
Another Canadian, a cardiologist from Quebec is still unaccounted for, according to CBC News.
Hill has been blogging and tweeting about skiing and mountain climbing in the Himalayas.
“So far this has been an adventure unlike any I have been on in the past,” he wrote on his website. “I have come to the Himalayas for my first time and am being blown away by the culture, the people, the mountains and the altitude.
“I managed to convince (extreme climber) Beni Bohm that he should ‘hire’ me to film his next 8000 m speed ascent. So now 10 months later I am in Nepal and just finishing up our first part of the trip. Instead of acclimatizing on Manaslu and spending 40 days on the same mountain it was decided that we would go and climb Mera peak a 6470m mountain.”
Hill’s last tweet from earlier this month said he was “off to try my luck on (Mount) Manaslu,” in northern Nepal.
Dipendra Paude of Nepal’s tourism ministry, which controls all international climbing expeditions, told The Telegraph the dead climbers were from Spain, Germany and Nepal.
Those missing include five French nationals, a Canadian and an Italian climber, The Telegraph said.
Officials from Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department said that because of the Privacy Act they could neither confirm nor deny that Hill was in Nepal.