It started out to be a nice day here in EBC. Eric and I were standing outside our camp entertaining and talking to a few folks. Ironically, we were looking at and talking about a serac that has been avalanching onto the icefall route and hoping that it would hold for the rest of the season. It rained a few bits of snow and ice and moments later a huge chunk gave way to cause a very big avalanche. A quick inventory showed several climbers were potentially in the path. The moments for the avalanche to run-out and the dust to settle seems like forever. As soon as the dust settled we re-inventoried the route and right away we knew that there were climbers missing. To make a long story short, an Austrian climber and a sherpa were missing. The Austrian climber was rescued from a crevasse and the sherpa was never found and the search was aborted after about 3 hours. Very very sad! I'm very proud of Pemba and Kame for availing themselves and participating in the search and rescue. Kudos to the many people who's quick response prevented additional disaster.
Honestly, I think the entire EBC was shaken up, because several people are getting ready to move up the mountain tomorrow for their summit bid, including me. Later in the afternoon I managed to regroup with Pemba's help and ready my stuff for tomorrow.
We expect to be be back from our summit bid on May 13th or 14th, so we'll not be updating the blog until after then. Cheerio, Ro