One year ago on April 25th, 2015, the strongest earthquake since 1934 hit Nepal. Over 8,000 people were killed and more than 21,000 were injured.
On that day a massive earthquake struck Nepal between Kathmandu (capital) and the city of Pokhara and destroyed thousands of lives and entire villages throughout the country. At the time there had been multiple expeditions trying to get to the roof the the world, Mount Everest.
Due to the earthquake, parts of glaciers cracked, massive avalanches followed. A major avalanche hit Everest Basecamp, killing 18 people and shuttering the climbing season early.
Even though the expeditions in Camp 1 and 2 remained untouched, they requested an escape by helicopters. This rescue was later object of intense discussions. The mountaineers in the higher camps had a sufficient supply of food, fuel and other resources, while the towns around the epicenter were completely flattened and many of their inhabitants were buried under debris, in need of support through the air.
Critics say the companies providing the helicopters were obligated to evacuate the mountain tourists, who demanded the services included in their rescue insurances.
While it is hard to judge from the outside, this case put the issue of commercial mountain expeditions in the spotlight again.
Watch the movie of the young alpinist Jost Kobusch:
A year after Nepal’s devastating earthquake
A year later, Nepal still battles the consequences. Only few buildings have been rebuilt and according to the Red Cross, four million people are still living in temporary shelters.
Tourism in the area has declined, but right now it is important to get that sector going again, to stabilize the local economy and better the conditions for the Nepalis.
Professional mountaineers are back, to perform new projects and to raise awareness. Ueli Steck, who was portrayed on E.O.F.T. TV in the films THE SWISS MACHINE and HIGH TENSION explains his intentions:
“It is the only way I can really help the people in Nepal: by traveling there, giving them jobs and thus creating opportunities for them that life goes on.“
And he is not alone. Cory Richards, cinematographer of COLD, which was part of E.O.F.T. 11/12, is currently attempting an ascent of Mount Everest together with Adrian Ballinger. Although they’re trying to get from the Tibetan side on the everest, they’ve spend couple of weeks in Nepal to get acclimatized. The alpinists will broadcast their attempt for the first time via SnapChat. If you want to get insight on their project you can follow them via #EverestNoFilter.
Another great initiative that wants to support Nepal is „Nepal, I love you“ – a pro-bono collaboration launched by Camp4Collective.