Vail Valley Everest climber safe following killer quake
KATHMANDU, Nepal — While the Nepal earthquake death toll climbed above 1,000, the Vail Valley breathed a collective sigh of relief that a local mountaineer and adventurer is not among them.
Jon Kedrowski was in Mount Everest Base Camp when the 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit on Saturday. He says he’s “safe.”
“On descent, headed back to lower camp or base camp. I’m safe,” Kedrowski said on Twitter.
Kedrowski has now been part of two of Mount Everest’s deadliest days. He was near the summit in 2012 when a killer storm blew in and killed seven people.
Rich Kedrowski, Jon’s dad, doesn’t know much more than anyone else. But his son is safe and that’s enough for now.
“He’s just fine. That’s about all I can tell you,” Rich said. “We’ll wait and see the next few days.”
Rich is also clear that Jon has been on Everest during two of its worst days.
“That’s what he wants to do, and you have to support him in that,” he said.
One of three Coloradans
Kedrowski is one of three Colorado climbers caught in yesterday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which hit around noon Kathmandu time. He, Alan Arnette and Jim Davidson, both of Fort Collins, were hiking Mount Everest with the quake hit.
They’re all safe, they said.
Kedrowski’s girlfriend, Tara Nichols, told Denver’s 9News he said it sounded like a “sonic boom.”
“He could feel it,” Nichols said. “It was like a sonic boom. He felt the tremors.”
Arnette, a Fort Collins climber, left an audio blog outlining what he knew at the time, which can be listened to at http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2015/04/25/alan-arnette-audio-dispatch-from- lhotse-for-alzheimers/.
Davidson has also said on social media that he’s safe.
“We’re safe at camp 1. Apparent earthquake. We had avi nearby, powder blast & glacier moved. Injuries in basecamp. Staying put,” Davidson said on Twitter.
At least 10 dead on Everest
A mountaineering guide, Ang Tshering, told the Associated Press that an avalanche swept the face of Mt. Everest after the earthquake. Nepal government officials said at least 10 climbers were killed and 30 injured.
This is Kedrowski’s second Everest ascent, this time trying to climb it without oxygen. It’s also his second Everest tragedy.
Kedrowski was caught in that 2012 storm that killed seven people near the summit, to that point Everest’s second deadliest day. Kedrowski saved at least four other climbers that day.
Kedrowski summited Everest later that week after a speed ascent.
A Mount Everst avalanche last April killed 16 Nepali sherpa guides. The 1996 tragedy that inspired Jon Krakauer’s book, “Into Thin Air” was Everest’s deadliest day prior to that.
The Nepal quake also shook a wide swath of northern India and Tibet, triggering avalanches in the Himalayas.
The quake hit 50 miles from Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital. Nepalese police say at least 876 people are confirmed dead in Nepal alone, and that number is expected to climb.
A 6.6 magnitude aftershock hit about an hour later, and smaller aftershocks rippled through the region for hours.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @torqueandrecoil.com
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