by ram khatry
2 May 2015 12:08 PM AEST: The kit belonging to late Australian cricketer Philip Hughes is safe and intact despite the massive avalanche that killed 18 climbers at the base camp of Mt Everest. The avalanche was triggered by the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 killing, so far, over 6000 people.
A world record holder mountaineer was on her way to the top of the world with the cricketing paraphernalia as a tribute to the ‘cheeky’ young sportsman Australians held so dear.
Chhurim Sherpa, who was tasked by the Cricket Association of Nepal to make the ascent, confirmed the bat and two jerseys used by Mr Hughes are safe with her at the foot of the tallest mountain in the world. She said her expedition could not be ‘successful’ because of the tragic event.
Ms Sherpa holds the Guinness World Record of becoming the first woman to climb Mt Everest twice in a week.
The avalanche killed mountaineers who were at the base camp while those in the camps above were spared of the ordeal.They were later brought down to the base camp by helicopter.
“I was at a place which is roughly an hour from the base camp, I was not at the base camp when it happened,” the celebrity mountaineer said with a sigh of relief. ‘God saved me. It was God!,” the 31 year old said during a brief conversation with southasia.com.au on Friday, May 1, through a very patchy telephone network at the Mt Everest base camp. She apparently returned to the base camp a day after the Nepal earthquake.
The climber is due to leave the base camp tomorrow, May 3, and indicated the area is still not out of danger with intermittent rock falls and avalanches. There was an avalanche from Pumori as recently as April 30, she added.
According to the 31 year old climber, most of the 54 groups that were at the base camp at the time of the catastrophe have already returned but four remain at the site. Even people from Sagarmatha (Nepali for Mt Everest) Pollution Control Committee, which also lost its members during the avalanche, have left.
Ms Sherpa was among 300 plus climbers who returned to climb Everest a year after it was hit by a similar disaster that claimed the lives of 16 Sherpa guides. They were killed at the Khumbu Icefall as they fixed ropes and prepared a route for foreign climbers.
The latest avalanche and its fatalities come as a blow to Nepal’s mountaineering industry as it was just beginning to pick up from last year’s tragedy.
Ms Sherpa said she is uncertain at this stage when she would re-attempt the journey to the planet’s highest point to pay the tribute to Michael Clarke’s ‘little brother’.