Jon Kedrowski: At Base Camp
Ski mountaineer, environmental scientist, and author Jon Kedrowski was at Everest Basecamp when the earthquake struck. "I was in the dining tent writing a blog before lunch," he told Men’s Journal by cell phone. "Ironically, it was about how smoothly the trip had gone so far." When everything started shaking, Kedrowski, who last summited Everest in 2012, assumed it was a "typical avalanche" from the amphitheater around Base Camp.
"I went outside and there was this huge roar coming from the amphitheater," Kedrowski said. "It was foggy and hard to tell exactly what was going on." He heard a boom and then Arnold, the trip leader, yelling, "Hide behind a rock!" But nothing happened. "We were at the far end of the camp, where it’s elevated, and the blast had dispersed enough by the time it hit us that it was nothing more than a 10-mph gust of wind and a sprinkling of snow," says Kedrowski.
Kedrowski and team, none of whom were injured, spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Base Camp looking for survivors. "It felt like walking through a town that had been obliterated by a tornado," says Kedrowski. He found people impaled by tent poles, bashed in the head with rocks, and one man who’d broken both legs when the avalanche hurled him into the air. "It was crazy, we got hit by a minor blast and they got bombed like a war zone," he says. Kedrowski has since left Base Camp for the lower elevation village of Namche Bazaar, where he and his team are waiting for the commercial flights to resume out of Luklu before descending further.