A Lee-on-the-Solent mother has been told her son and his wife are safe and well after avalanches struck Mount Everest as they trekked to the mountain’s base camp.
The good news today ended an agonising wait for Margaret Powell and her family who had only had one unconfirmed report online that Adam and Tracy Powell survived the disaster that claimed at least 17 lives.
Today, a relative confirmed that the family had heard that the couple were safe and well in Nepal.
Earlier, Mrs Powell had told of the distress at not having firm information.
‘It’s absolutely dreadful. Everyone is very worried and concerned’ she said.
‘All the members of the family have been on the web and on the phone trying to get information.
‘We’ve been ringing the Red Cross and the British Embassy - we’re doing just about everything we can do.’
A British climber stranded on Mount Everest following earthquake-triggered avalanches has spoken of the “race against time” for those awaiting rescue.
James Grieve, 52, told the Sun over a satellite phone from Camp One on the world’s highest peak that the rescue effort was being hampered by storms and supplies would last only a few more days.
Climbers, including several Britons, have been cut off from the mountain’s base camp, which was devastated by the initial quake in Nepal and yesterday’s large aftershock.
It’s absolutely dreadful. Everyone is very worried and concernedMargaret Powell
Nepal’s mountaineering department said at least 18 people had been killed and 61 were injured in the avalanche, while an unknown number were still missing.
Mr Grieve, of Kinross, told the paper: “Everyone is apprehensive about what’s happening and what will happen in the next 24 hours. We have a few days of food and drink left. Our tents have all been lost and we have around 18 dead bodies at base camp.
“Rescue teams are struggling to get us help due to the weather and the next few days’ forecasts are not great. There is a lot of confusion in the cap and there are still about 120 of us here waiting to be rescued.
“We are in a race against time to get off the mountain.”
He estimated up to 50 people had been killed and said there was a plan for helicopters to rescue them today, although “the choppers are only taking two people off at a time”.
He said he believed it could be Wednesday when they would be brought to safety but warned of a forecast metre of snow which could set search teams back.
The paper said he was in a party with fellow British climbers Alex Staniforth, 19, of Chester, expedition leader Daniel Mazur, from Bristol and Sam and Alex Chappatte, from London.
On Twitter yesterday, Mr Staniforth’s UK-based support team revealed the difficulty caused by the weather.
They said: “Alex has just texted via sat phone. They will spend another night at C1. Weather has drawn in making it too difficult to fly choppers.”
After the 6.7-magnitude aftershock, Mr Mazur tweeted: “Aftershock @ 1pm! Horrible here in camp 1. Avalanches on 3 sides. C1 a tiny island. We worry about icefall team below.. Alive?”
He later said: “Icefall scouts back w/ news: GOOD: route is there. BAD: it sustained damage. V BAD: icefall Sherpas bc gone; ran away to Namche!”