A Seattle-based guiding service says five Nepalese guides on its climbing team are among those who died in an avalanche on Mount Everest.
“We live with these people, we dine in their homes,” said Gordon Janow of Seattle’s Alpine Ascents International. “They come here to visit us. It’s far from a work-place accident. These are friends and family.”
Janow said the company’s Sherpa guides had gone up the mountain to help set up camp and check out conditions for other climbers. He learned of their deaths from others at base camp.
The avalanche swept down a climbing route on the world’s highest peak early Friday, killing at least 12 Sherpa guides and leaving four missing. Several more were injured.
Eleven climbers and other guides with Alpine Ascents were safe at base camp when the avalanche hit.
Janow said they’ll take the next few days to help the victims’ families and continue to help medical crews. He said he’s not entirely sure if this latest climb will continue.
You can follow Janow’s team at alpineascents.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.