Seventeen-year-old mountaineer, Matt Moniz, Friday survived the deadliest Mt. Everest avalanche in history. Now, along with other survivors, he is helping triage the injured and digging out Everest Base Camp, salvaging buried tents and supplies as possible.
Last fall, the BoulderSource.com featured Matt Moniz in his quest to climb Mt. Everest and still stay on-track for graduation. The following is an update on the effect of this catastrophic event on his journey and how you can help.
Last Friday, Matt Moniz was at Everest Base Camp, readying to ascend the world’s tallest mountain, when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck just before noon near Kathmandu, Nepal. The massive quake resulted in the deaths of more than 4,000 so far, and triggered an avalanche that cascaded down the Khumbu Icefall route, resulting in the deadliest event in the history of Mt. Everest.
Tragically, many others at Everest Base Camp were not so fortunate. Sixteen casualties and more than 40 injured are estimated, according to on-location reports by Colorado climber, Alan Arnette, relayed by Satellite phone, Facebook, and Twitter.
Says Arnette’s Facebook post, “Most of the injuries and causalities were from wind blast off Pumori and associated impact with rocks. EverestER and doctors with others teams doing amazing work.”
Moniz — along with other survivors — is currently digging out of base camp and helping with care and rescue efforts for the wounded, according to a “Men’s Journal” report.
Climbers at Camps 1 and 2, situated on the Icefall route, are unable to descend due to avalanche damage to the newly created climbing route. As of Monday morning, according to Arnette, helicopter rescues were underway to download the estimated 100+ stranded climbers.
Aftershocks and fresh snow continue to make the conditions on Everest difficult and unpredictable. Almost all climbers have decided to cease ascent plans, with a few small teams attempting the southerly route still assessing whether to continue or not, according to Arnette.
The Icefall route was damaged in last year’s avalanche, which took a devastating toll, killing 16 sherpas. Matt Moniz’s 2014 Everest climb was cancelled out of respect for loss of life. The team re-routed, resulting in back-to-back 8,000-meter summits of Cho Oyo and Makaluto.
Friday’s earthquake resulted in catastrophic damage, deaths and injuries, particularly in the densely populated capital city of Kathmandu. Many of the Mt. Everest sherpas’ homes are destroyed. Food, water and medical supplies are badly needed.
To help with the relief effort on Mount Everest, where the Everest ER team’s medical tent and much of the communications and medical equipment were destroyed, visit www.EverestER.org to donate.
Or, visit http://www.himalayan-foundation.org and donate to the American Himalayan Foundation.
See our previous posts on Matt Moniz
Cover photo and Twitter images courtesy Matt and Mike Moniz. ©2014 All rights reserved.