Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche

Updated: August 13, 2015 17:09 IST

50 years after the first Indian climbed Mount Everest, 30 soldiers of the Indian Army decide to climb the highest peak in the world. However, their plans go awry after a series of devastating Earthquakes hit Nepal on the 25th April, 2015. Here's an inside look to what happened that day.

Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the entire Nepal region, and this time it didn't even leave the Base camp, considered to be a place where no avalanches have been recorded till date. The avalanche was so massive that it swept away the entire camp area leaving heaps of debris.
Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
The impact of the avalanche was so huge that the Everest Base Camp, which once was covered with Buddhist prayer flags; colorful tents and a place filled with trekkers from all over the world, turned into an abandoned.

'It was like a movie scene. Something is following us and we are running. There were stones and boulders flying in front of us," said Captain P.K Rai.
Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
The tents were uprooted from its place; the equipments were swept away by the avalanche and if anything was left behind were some serious fatal injuries and 22 dead climbers.
Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
With tons and tons of falling ice, clusters of tents swept away and climbers who were inside their tents got buried under the heavy snow and lost their lives.
Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
The weather saw a maximal drop in temperature. The Everest Base Camp was totally covered with white snow and fog, making it difficult for the team to carry out their rescue operation.
Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
The Everest Base Camp, which was going to be home for the summiteers in coming days, but after such a massive avalanche, the camp area turned into a dead land with scattered tents; broken equipment and debris, but of a different kind!
Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
Every aftershock was followed by more injuries and deaths. Indian Army along with other climbing team started their rescue operation and in a very less time built a 'make shift hospital' to give proper and required treatment to every injured climber.
Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
'While coming down when the things got clear and it came in to our notice that something big has happened at base camp. It is not a minor thing because we started seeing tents and we started seeing utensils there and we were still around 200-300 meters away from the base camp,' said Major Ranveer Singh Jamwal.
Operation Everest: When Base Camp Witnessed a Massive Avalanche
As the temperature fell drastically, it affected the climbers and risen the chances of more high altitude sickness. They had to sleep in broken tents with limited sleeping bags as the avalanche blown away their entire set up and equipment as well.

'Cleaning the mountain' was one of the agenda of Indian Army, and after such big devastation their agenda remained their first priority. The members, even after other teams left for Nepal, cleaned the Base camp area and accomplished their mission besides submitting Mount Everest, which may not be this time around but the next time they will surely reach and hoist the Tri-color!

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