Mount Everest ends in a drama by the earthquake

After years of physical, mental and practical preparation, and six weeks of sleeping in an Altitude Dream tent to prevent altitude sickness, the time has finally come. In April - May 2015 I will make my fourth attempt to climb Mount Everest. Unfortunately, the expedition ends in tragedy due to the earthquake in Nepal. Below is my eyewitness report;

April 25, Mount Everest Basecamp. 11.45 lying in my tent it seems like someone is shaking my tent, a joke from teammate Ritchie, I think. Not much later, shaking the tent changes to shaking the ground. Harder and harder. I realize earthquake !! When I unzip my tent I see gigantic avalanches coming down from three sides. Behind me from the Lingtren, from the icefall and Pumori. The avalanche from the Icefall-Nuptse is huge. Not much later I realize that the cloud will hit basecamp. I run the 20 meters to the messtent, halfway through the avalanche cloud hits me. I have completely lost my direction and run into another tent. Then I storm into the tent. My ears are filled to the brim with snow. In 5 seconds I look like the terrible snowman.

Some people flee headlong

We hear bad news through the radio. A large part of the base camp has been swept away by an avalanche. Our camp is miraculous miraculously untouched. Two hundred meters further on, the camp was completely destroyed. We descend to the base camp to help there. What we see is terrible. There are tents, personal belongings and climbing materials everywhere. The lower part of the camp has not been hit either. A provisional first aid post has been set up there. Many victims have head injuries and are in poor condition. Around me I hear messages about ten to thirty deaths. A Japanese person shows me horrible photos on his phone. They make me shiver. BC now looks like a refugee camp. Some people flee headlong. Others try to assemble equipment for the cold night that comes. On the way back to my BC I check broken tents on sleeping bags and down suits. I am dead that I find a body. I take them with us so that our camp can serve as emergency shelter if needed.


The day after BC is still in shock. In the morning the weather is clear. In that time, 35 wounded people were transported by helicopter to Kathmandu. 17 people unfortunately died as a result of the disaster. Under a sail a number of bodies are waiting for them to be transported. The camp of Adventure consultants and Summitclimb in particular was hit hard. Hardly anything is left of their camp. I see very personal items, a notebook, shampoo, slippers, reading glasses, everything. It reminds me of the images of a crashed plane. BC is nothing more than a disaster site at the moment. Some dead get a face, a cameraman who walked around our camp for two days is no longer alive.

I realize how lucky I have been. The total destruction of the earthquake is only a few hundred meters away. A hike to Pumori BC was actually planned on the day of the quake. Because of the snow we saw it off. The biggest avalanche after the quake came from the Pumori. I would not have written this blog if it had been sunny that day ...

Never, ever give up!

End of expedition, it's no different. Just back in the Netherlands, Kristof from Altitude Dream sends me a Tweet. Never, ever give up! Has the earthquake & avalanche also buried the passion? Or is the holy fire still burning on a pilot flame and will I be in an altitude tent again in 11 months in preparation for attempt five on Everest?

Eric Arnold

About Altitude Dream

Altitude Dream is the market leader in the Benelux in the field of altitude training. For more than 10 years we have been helping athletes realize their dreams and bringing people without altitude sickness to the mountain of their dreams. Altitude Dream is not a company. Altitude Dream is a dream. A dream that leads to the maximum use of our possibilities.