A BUSINESS consultant is facing having to abandon his attempt to climb Mount Everest following the death of 16 Sherpas in an avalanche.
After attending a memorial service for the guides at the mountain’s 17,500ft base camp, David Bradley, of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, said his dream of conquering the 29,029ft peak had been ended with the tragedy on the Khumbu Icefall glacier last Friday (April 18).
The 58-year-old had been set to traverse the glacier on Sunday before attempting to reach the summit to raise £10,000 for Ripon-based charity Dementia Forward, just five years after taking up mountaineering.
He said a member of his 13-strong Sherpa team had been killed in the deadliest incident in decades on the world's highest peak, while five others had been injured and another was on compassionate leave.
Mr Bradley said it meant there was an insufficient number of experienced sherpas left to get the fixed rope secured safely to the summit and that a team of yaks had been summoned to carry mountaineering equipment down from base camp.
He said: “Our team leader is prepared to hold out until all hope is exhausted, but has informed us that realistically the Everest climbing season is over.
“Too many of the Sherpas are simply unwilling to climb the mountain this year. A few hard core mountaineers will do it without Sherpa support, but we are not in that league.
“Naturally we are all disappointed, but it is sobering to think that we would have been passing the avalanche site at just that time of the morning a few days later. It could have so easily been us.”
Mr Bradley and his wife, Helen, who joined him for the 16-day trek to the 17,500ft base camp, had trained six days a week for nine months, to prepare for the challenge.
Mrs Bradley, who works at the charity as a dementia support advisor, said she had been woken by thunderous avalanches in the area during her stay at base camp, but had not heard about the tragedy until she returned to Kathmandu.
She said: “When I received the news it was hard to deal with.
“When you have seen the enormity of the place and met someone who lost their life, that’s when it hits home."
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