Free Press Journal

Mountaineer recalls moments at Everest Base Camp as fresh quake hits Nepal


Mumbai: The strong temblor that today shook Nepal and parts of northern and eastern India brought back the chilling memories of the April 25 earthquake for 47-year-old mountaineer Lipika Biswas who was at the Everest Base Camp when it had hit the Himalayan country. The Kolkata-based Lipika ran out of her office in Eastern Railway chief engineer’s office today after the tremors, to find a lot of people on the office veranda and outside.

The events at the Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 17,700 feet on April 25, however, were very different from those witnessed today, recalls Lipika, who could not climb the Everest last year after the climbing season was called off abruptly following a deadly avalanche. “We were resting in our tents and immediately after the first shock, we ran out in the open,” she told PTI.

Once out in the open, she and her fellow climbers started scanning the slopes of the world’s highest peak, especially the Khumbu Icefall stretch, to assess if the route they were to take to the summit had had any impact. “The entire glacier on which the camp is located was like a boat in choppy waters and it was still shaking as we stood outside. There was utter chaos and a cacophony of thuds all around. We were looking towards the Everest, but a loud noise on the other side, from the Pumori Peak, diverted our attention,” she recalls.