Photographer's Note

About one hour before reaching Everest Base Camp, our trekking party heard a loud roar like a low flying fighter jet, and looking up we sighted a huge wall of falling ice and snow from the huge face of Nuptse 7,861 m, the 21st tallest mountain in the world. We were walking on the Khumbu Glacier at the time in a small depression and could see the ice plummeting from the top shoulder of the peak, so some of us ran up a small ridge to photograph the cloud of ice hitting the bottom of the ridge. The whole event lasted about one and a half minutes, and swept an area far from any trails or camp sites, or climbing routes. Our Sherpa leader told us that seeing this was quite a regular sight during the middle of the day as the sun heated up the icy mountain faces. This being said, dad and I were woken during the middle of the night in Gorak Shep, a couple of kilometres away by an even louder avalanche that we assumed peeled off the same mountain face. It was quite momentous to witness, like nothing else I’d experienced in these mountains. If you look very closely you can see the side of Mt. Everest just jutting out from the peak on the left, near the top right of the summit.

The workshops show a close up of the falling ice and also what the slope looked like after the debris cloud had settled. I would guess the height of the avalanche section to be about 500 metres tall, as the summit of Nuptse was about 2,500m above our location.

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Additional Photos by Matthew Watt (Matthew-Watt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 973 W: 326 N: 1501] (5934)
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