Edmonton climber rescued from base camp following earthquake
Published Sunday, May 3, 2015 1:14PM MDT Last Updated Sunday, May 3, 2015 6:27PM MDT
An Edmonton mountain climber has been rescued after being stranded following the earthquake in Nepal.
Al Hancock was working on the Big 14, a challenge to climb all the 8,000-metre peaks in the world, when he was caught in the disaster.
He said he and his group were stranded at the base camp on Annapurna after the earthquake.
“I was in my tent at base camp and all of a sudden I heard this noise that would probably be like the loudest freight train you'd ever hear. It was just unreal and then the whole ground was just shaking and people at base camp were running for their lives.
“We thought that this whole side of the mountain was going to come crashing down.”
Hancock said the trip had been troubled from the start as just before the earthquake an avalanche hit his team while they slept at camp 4.
“One minute I was sleeping, I woke up, heard it, I sat up in the tent and this snow just kind of compounded me. And we had to cut ourselves out the tent,” he explained.
The team cut their way out of the tent and headed back to camp 3 to regroup.
After a bit of a rest the group headed back to basecamp.
On Friday 50 people, including Hancock, were rescued from the area.
Hancock is now resting at a hotel in Kathmandu and has put his plans for the Big 14 on hold.
“I'm here, I'm healthy and there's so many people that could use the help. So my goal is to try to lend assistance in any way, shape or form to deliver medical aid, to assist in rebuilding, to assist in clean up.
“My concern is for the people of Nepal. They're like my second home, my second family,” he added.
Hancock moved to Alberta from Newfoundland when he was 18 to work in the oilsands.
He has numerous bodybuilding titles under his belt as well as over 20 expedition-style summits.
With files from Amanda Anderson