Nepal earthquake: American film maker evacuated from Everest base camp

Last Saturday, Mr Michael Churton, 38, felt the ground shift under his tent at Everest Base Camp, at 18,000 feet in the Himalayas.

Rushing out, he and others at the crowded base camp saw a huge plume of snow powder high above them. The avalanche triggered by the earthquake was on them in seconds, sweeping through the middle of base camp. He was buried in it and hit the left side of his face on a rock.

On Monday afternoon, Mr Churton, from Brooklyn, New York, was recovering in the lobby of the Yak and Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu, fresh off a helicopter that evacuated him and other survivors on Monday morning from Gorakshep, usually a one-hour walk down from base camp but in their traumatised condition with many injuries, a three-hour trek for the survivors of the avalanche.

Speaking to The Straits Times two hours after alighting from the helicopter, he said he was filming a climb at the peak when the avalanche struck, destroying the middle of the camp.

An estimated 100 climbers, who were up at camps 1 and 2, survived unscathed, but were stranded there.

But a female doctor in their team at base camp was still missing.

The hotel had run out of rooms to accommodate groups of mountaineers and swarms of foreign media. The climbers were camped in the lobby, waiting for news on how to get home.

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