Avalanche Team Quotes

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Buddhist monks cremated the remains of Sherpa guides who were buried in the deadliest avalanche to hit Mount Everest, a disaster that has prompted calls for a climbing boycott by Nepal's ethnic Sherpa community. A Sherpa boycott could critically disrupt the Everest climbing season, which is key to the livelihood of thousands of Nepali guides and porters. Everest climbers have long relied on Sherpas for everything from hauling gear to cooking food to high-altitude guiding. At least 13 Sherpas were killed when a block of ice tore loose from the mountain and triggered a cascade that ripped through teams of guides hauling gear. Three Sherpas missing in Friday's
The Gilkey Memorial is a grisly necessity because corpses rarely make it down the mountain in one piece. For Everest losses, families sometimes send a recovery team. This doesn't happen on K2. The Savage Mountain devours its victims during the long winter beteween climbing seasons. It encases the torsos in ice and grates them against the rocks, only to spit out the digested remains decades later, scattering limbs among the avalanche debris. When Art Gilkey's team gathered stones to honor their friend in 1953, they started a morbid tradition. To keep the campsites sanitary, climbers began using the memorial as a place to dispose of the fingers, pelvic bones, arms, heads, and legs found in the glacial melt. Burying these scraps under the Gilkey Memorial felt more respectful than leaving them to the ravens. For more than half a century, the memorial has been a place to caution the living and consecrate the dead. Mountaineers attempting K2 visit the site to remind themselves of what they are getting into......On hot days, the cairn stews with the scent of defrosting flesh, and the odor clings to mourners' hair and clothing.” (Buried in the Sky, p. 102).
Peter Zuckerman (Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day)