“Had the avalanche continued for two more minutes, I would have died on the lap of my God, Mount Everest,” breaks down Gautam Ghosh, an assistant sub inspector of the Kolkata police who was part of an expedition team to the Mount Everest.
“In last ten years, I was part of several expeditions to Everest and witnessed avalanches too. But none of those was so deadly and so disastrous as this one. We saw the Everest crashing down on us,” the 50 year old assistant sub inspector of Kolkata Police could barely speak controlling his tears.
Now at the camp at Gorak Shep, Gautam Ghosh, the ASI of Kolkata Police told this correspondent over phone that he and his team were still waiting for an announcement by the Nepal Government calling the expedition as “cancelled.”
Ghosh had yet another adverse experience. He went as part of a team to the Everest in 2014, as well, which was again called off after an avalanche killed more than a dozen Sherpas.
Ghosh along with his team members climbed down from the base camp to the Gorak Shep camp on Saturday after they were hit by the avalanche on Saturday.
“It was a snowy day on Friday when we were supposed to start climbing. So we waited for a day and on April 25 we left the base camp and started approaching Everest. At noon, when we were trying to climb, we could feel cold wave under our feet.
Immediately after, we received strong jolts and could feel that there was an earth quake. And in seconds, we saw the mount Everest came crashing down on us. I tried to hold the climber strongly and tried to cling.” he said.
“It was so suffocating. The avalanches with snow boulders rolled down and I tried to save my head covering it with the jacket. I was dying and trying to remember the faces, most precious to me.
I thought that I would never return.” Ghosh stopped to take a long breathe. His voice was not clear as he spoke over phone from a temporary camp near the base camp of mount Everest.
There were at least 45 teams at the base camp those were preparing for the expedition. “But all these tents were washed. After the avalanche passed, I could not move my limbs and my head for ten minutes.
When I could stand on my feet, I continued shouting and screaming calling the names of my team members.
While coming down, I saw legs out of the snow heap, somebody’s shoes and somebody’s hands. I screamed and tried to dig them but, every effort went in vain. We ran towards the tents at the base camp.
Nothing was there by then. Yesterday, when we were climbing down, army carried 17 bodies to Kathmandu,” added Ghosh, posted at the Kolkata police head quarter.
According to Ghosh, the 2015 climbing season was just starting this month. Ghosh left home in Kolkata on March 31. Before Saturday’s earthquake, the single deadliest incident in the history of Everest came a year and a week earlier, on April 18, 2014, when an avalanche claimed at least a dozen Sherpa prompting the government to call of the expedition.