US extreme skier Plake among avalanche survivors
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - Renowned American extreme skier Glen Plake says he feels lucky to be alive after surviving the weekend Himalayan avalanche that killed at least eight people, but he's heartbroken that he could not save two friends.
Mr Plake is a champion hot-dog skier who has appeared in many extreme-skiing documentaries, including 1988's The Blizzard of AAHHH's, and also is well known for the tall mohawk he wears on the slopes. He had planned to ski down Mount Manalsu, the world's eighth-highest mountain, after reaching the summit.
"I was awake in my tent reading my Bible... The tent began to shake. We thought it was the wind but in fact it was an avalanche," Mr Plake told reporters on Wednesday at the Kathmandu airport after returning from the mountain in a helicopter.
"It was like an earthquake; it was like a tsunami." Though he said he is "probably the luckiest person in the world," he was unable to find his friends and climbing companions, Remy George Lecluse and Gregory Ugo Costa, both of France.