Avalanche on Mount Everest Kills 13 Sherpas in Deadliest Disaster on Record

Mount Everest13 Sherpas are dead and several more are missing after the deadliest avalanche on record at Mount Everest on Friday. The Nepalese mountain guides were setting ropes for seven NBC staffers, who were preparing to film a Discovery Channel special with American wing suit flier Joby Ogwyn called Everest Jump Live.

The deadly disaster struck after the Sherpas set out in the morning to prepare the way for the other climbers when the snow swept below Base Camp 2 around 6:30 A.M.

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A rep for NBC and the Discovery Channel confirmed that none of the employees on the mountain were harmed, and assured that their main priority right now is to "assist with the search and rescue efforts in any way possible."

In a statement, the rep said:

“The avalanche last night on Mount Everest is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are lost and with their families ... tragically, 13 Nepalese Sherpas from a number of expedition companies who prepare the mountain each year for climbing season lost their lives, and the rescue mission continues."

It is the deadliest disaster on record since eight climbers were killed in a snowstorm in May 1996.
 
Sherpas are the elite mountaineers that act as guides for those crazy adventurous enough to attempt to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. So basically, take the most bad ass mountain climbers, times them by ten, and you have these guys. They're the ones that go first and fix the ropes for the rest of the climbers. I bet they're all -- the tourists are adorable, they need ropes!
 
These guys are so hardcore that a 1976 study from the National Institutes of Health found out that Sherpas had altered their genes through generations of living in high altitudes with low oxygen.
 
The loss of these 13 souls is truly a tragedy.
 
Do you think Mount Everest is too dangerous to climb?
 
 
Image via Detlef Rook/Flickr
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