Adrian Ballinger: At Advanced Base Camp on the North Side
As the owner of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian Ballinger made the decision to move his company’s operations to the Tibetan side of the mountain for safety this year, after sixteen Sherpas were killed in the notorious Khumbu Icefall last year. They had just arrived in Advanced Base Camp (ABC) and were sitting down to lunch, when the quake struck. "I was sitting inside when things began to move and blur, I thought I was having altitude issues, then after ten seconds the first big shock hit. We all ran outside of the tent, struggling to keep our balance," Ballinger told Men’s Journal by satellite phone. "I saw and felt huge rock falls and avalanches happening on the mountains surrounding us. We were far enough away that we were safe." With the Base Camp on the south side of Everest only ten miles away his thoughts quickly turned to his friends over there. "We immediately set up our base camp radio to listen in to communications from the Nepal side, and all we heard was the was chaos with people talking about pulling bodies out of debris and calling for help. It was the worst thing ever, knowing we could not help." As the aftershocks continued, they focused on finding out info about the families of their twelve Sherpas, and checked with other teams to see if rescue efforts were needed for the rope fixing teams high on the mountain. After days waiting at Advanced Base Camp, Ballinger and several of his team flew to Nepal and are helping with the rescue effort.