Raphael Slawinski: Headed to Advanced Base Camp on the North Side
Canadian climber Raphael Slawinski had just had lunch in his team's mess tent outside of Advanced Base Camp, on the North Side of Mount Everest in Tibet when the ground began to shake. "It was like nothing I had ever experienced," he told Men's Journal by satellite phone. "We thought it was an avalanche without any sound. We could barley stand. After a minute, it stopped. I felt like I had been on the deck of a boat we were tossed around so much, it made me feel small." After making his way outside and seeing they were in no immediate danger (their camp was in the middle of a large plateau) nervousness settled in. "We were worried about a huge chunk of rock coming down and rolling into us, plus there were fears about glacial lakes up in the moraine releasing and flooding us." As the news began to flow in of the devastating damage done on the Nepal side of the mountain just ten miles away they thought about heading over to help, but the main road was out. "We realized we could not offer any help and probably would be a burden, so we waited for the Chinese government to make a decision about our side of the mountain, debating whether we would continue climbing. Ultimately they closed climbing on several major mountains, it was the right thing to do." Slawinski made his way to Lhasa and is currently working his way back home.