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Nepalis wait for quake help as death toll passes 4,000

Updated: 2015-04-28 10:37

"To climb or not?"

Nepalis wait for quake help as death toll passes 4,000

The Mount Qomolangma south base camp in Nepal is seen a day after a huge earthquake-caused avalanche killed at least 17 people, in this photo courtesy of 6summitschallenge.com taken on April 26, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

High in the Himalayas, hundreds of climbers from around the world were reeling from the avalanche that swept through Qomolangma base camp in a few terrifying moments when the earthquake struck at around midday on Saturday.

Many Nepalese sherpa mountain guides had descended to their homes and villages to see if loved ones were safe.

Foreign mountaineers, meanwhile, were divided on whether to continue their pursuit of scaling the surrounding peaks in the event their local guides returned to lead them.

"For me personally it's probably too early to say how I feel about that," said Canadian Nick Cienski, who is attempting a record ascent of six 8,000-meter peaks this calendar year.

"I wouldn't want to continue if it made anybody uncomfortable to continue, sherpas included in that."

Romanian climber Alex Gavan, who had microblogged his eyewitness account of the avalanche and its aftermath, said he had left Qomolangma base camp to help the earthquake relief effort.

"The time is not for climbing now, but for helping Nepali people," he posted on Twitter on Monday.

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