MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin man climbing Mount Everest has survived a powerful earthquake that shook Nepal on Saturday.
Andy Land, 52, of Fond du Lac, and his climbing team guided by International Mountain Guides of Ashford, Washington, were in the Khumbu Icefall region near the mountain’s base when the 7.8 magnitude quake struck, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
“The team called from base camp (around 1pm Nepal time) to let us know there’s been an earthquake, but that everyone on the IMG team (members and Sherpas) in all camps are OK,” Eric Simonson, a partner with IMG posted on the company’s website Saturday.
Land, a hospice nurse, has spent months training for the climb to bring awareness to hospice, dubbing the effort “Climbing for Hospice.” He departed Wisconsin last month.
“Getting through this section, means negotiating around house-sized pieces of glacial ice, called ‘seracs,’ and gaping cracks in the glacier, crevasses, which can be more than 100 ft. deep. It is incredible to see, but not a place where you want to linger,” Land posted early Friday on his Climbing for Hospice Facebook page before the quake. “Going through it definitely requires some faith that God will take care of me.”
The earthquake is the worst temblor to hit the poor South Asian nation in more than 80 years. It has killed more than 1,180 people, collapsing modern houses and centuries-old temples, and triggering a landslide on the slopes of Mount Everest. Officials said the death toll will rise as more reports from far-flung areas come in.
Other mountains Land has scaled include McKinley in Alaska; Rainier in Washington; a more than 19,000-foot climb to the summit of Huayna Potosi in Bolvia; and Mount Aconcagua, a 22,841-foot peak in Argentina. Land is attempting to scale Everest for the first time.
Read the November 2014 article posted on ehospiceUSA that shared Andy’s plans for his expedition.
Look for additional news from Andy on his website Climbing for Hospice.