Saturday, 19 April 2014
While sun greeted us most mornings of our trip, this morning's sky was pewter gray. It seemed to appropriately reflect the pall over all the groups in Everest Base Camp.
We are all still coming to grips with the yesterday's tragedy. Although there is no way of knowing here in EBC, outside media reported more than 15 dead. The medical hut cared for 9 injured patients (3 critical, 6 stable). This morning, at least two of them were evacuated out of the helipad immediately above our camp.
Throughout yesterday, helicopters flew the bodies of the dead back to EBC, suspended by a line beneath the airship. The bodies were gently lowered to a separate helipad below our camp. We watched with profound sadness as eleven men were brought down.
Many of the Sherpas have left EBC to return to their home villages for several days. There will be a camp-wide meeting in the next few days of sirdars and expedition leaders to discuss next steps. Contrary to some media reports, there has been no decision to "end the 2014 season". In fact, there have been no decisions a all. As we learn more, I shall let you know.
For now, the grim job of recovery continues. There are 4-6 men still in the Khumbu Icefall. A special, high-altitude helicopter ferried searchers back up onto the Icefall this morning. The pilot's technical skills are amazing. We wish the searchers well in their challenging task.
Lauren departed our camp after breakfast. She will walk to Pangboche and then to Namche Bazaar. From there, she hopes to catch a helicopter ride back to Kathmandu. We are sad to see her go. She fought through a persistent respiratory infection during the early part of the trek. Her presence was a real boost to her dad, Steve, and a positive force on the rest of us. We wish her safe travels and fair winds as she moves onto a new job in Detroit.
Please keep the injured and killed Sherpas in your thoughts and prayers. We are.
Lots of love to our family and friends.
Posted by: Scott Williams
Blogs by other members of the expedition
Shane - http://HeartHealthyEverestClimb2014.blogspot.com
Steve - http://Wetumpka2Everest.blogspot.com
Jeff - http://www.highpeakadventures.com/high_peak_adventures/web_log/web_log.html
Helicopter aids with the search and rescue efforts
Lauren is on her way down