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Avalanche on Mount Everest flattens Camp 1, Tico climber was not affected

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Everest Base Camp

A massive avalanche down the western slope of Mount Everest disrupted the busy climbing season and injured a Sherpa guide. Eyewitnesses at the Everest Base Camp reported seeing a cloud of snow over Camp 1, which ended up completed buried by the icefall.  The plume of snow was estimated to have been ten stories tall.

Warner Rojas, a mountaineer from Costa Rica who aims to be the first Tico at the Everest summit, is currently making his way to Camp 1. Broadcast network Teletica has been keeping track of Mr. Rojas’ location via GPS tracking equipment since he arrived in Kathmandu in late March. Mr. Rojas’ current position is far away from Camp 1, and thus it can be assumed that he was not affected by the avalanche.  The last video report by Mr. Rojas, who is carrying an array of electronic communication devices, was filed on Saturday, April 14th.  His altitude was around 6,000 meters at the time, and he was at the Everest Base Camp, getting ready for the grueling ascent.

Prior to his arrival at the Everest Base Camp, Mr. Rojas and members of his expedition team were blessed by a Buddhist Lama near Dingboche, according to Al Dia.  A British climber from another expedition who has reached the Everest summit a few times told Mr. Rojas that it was unusual to see climbers from Costa Rica taking on Mount Everest.

The avalanche took place near the Khumbu icefall, one of the most dangerous climbs in the world.  Members of the Everest Education Expedition 2012, an American team sponsored by National Geographic and The North Face, reported that the young injured Sherpa was rescued by helicopter.

The current climbing season on Mount Everest has attracted plenty of attention. Medical scientists from the Mayo Clinic recently arrived in Nepal to study nine climbers and the physiological effects of issues like muscle loss at high altitude, lung fluid regulation, sleep apnea, and others.  Earlier this morning, National Geographic photographer Cory Richards was evacuated from Base Camp due to altitude sickness. The current temperature at the camp is -9.3 Celsius (15 Fahrenheit) .

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