Sep
23

Glen Plake survives avalanche that kills 9
Sunday September 23, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

A huge avalanche has ripped through a climbing base camp in Nepal. Six people people are still missing. A rescue operation is under way. European climbers are involved and the US skier, Glen Plake. The skiing and climbing world is in shock.

The US mogul skier and star of the most famous ski extreme film of them all, The Blizzard of Aahhhs, is now a keen and experienced climber.

Glen Plake lives in Chamonix France and was climbing with Remy Lecluse and Greg Costa.

They were planning to climb the mountain without oxygen and ski down.

Glen Plake was in his sleeping bag reading the bible when the massive avalanche swept through the camp.

"Just got a call from Glen Plake who told me this: "I'm OK, a bit beat up; missing some teeth and a bruised eye but write in big capital letters, GLEN PLAKE IS ALIVE AND HE'S COMING HOME" said our good friend in Chamonix, Trey Cook. 

Trey is the editor of EpicTV and it is covering the tragedy.

See here for the coverage of the accident.

Details and information are sketchy at the moment.

The avalanche struck Mount Manaslu in the North of the country.

"The avalanche hit camp three of the Manaslu peak... resulting in a flood of snow," said Laxmi Dhakal, head of the Nepalese home ministry's disaster response division.

The climbers were caught at 7,000m as they were preparing to head toward the summit, which is 8,156m high.

Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain in the world and is considered one of the most dangerous.

Thee have been dozens of deaths in recent years.

"Rescue pilots have spotted seven other bodies on the mountain," said a statement from the rescue services.

Bad weather with thick cloud is hampering the rescue but five people are reported to have been flown to hospital.

They are believed to be three French nationals and two Germans.

Two rescue helicopters are involved in the operation.

Remy Lecluse and Greg Costa are missing.

Remy Lecluse is a well-known and highly respected Chamonix guide. He has worked closely with many UK companies guiding clients in the Chamonix valley and beyond.

He has been featured in UK skiing magazines for his daring exploits.

Glen Plake has given a graphic account of what happened to him as the avalanche hit in the middle of the night and how he was swept hundreds of metres down the mountain.

"Greg and I were in a tent together, Rémy was in another. It was 4:45a and I was in my sleeping bag with my headlamp on reading my devotional when we heard a roar. Greg looked at me and said, "That was a big gust of wind," then a second later, "No, that was an avalanche."

Then it hit us.

I was swept 300 meters over a serac and down the mountain and came to a stop still in my sleeping bag, still inside the tent. We all went to sleep with avalanche transceivers on so I punched my way out of the tent and started searching.

Searched for 10 minutes when I realized I was barefoot.

Greg was using my down suit for a pillow and I found my suit, I found everything that was in my tent - camera, sleeping bag, ski boots, it was like someone had thrown my gear in the back of a pickup - but there was no sign of Greg. Rémy and his tent are nowhere to be found."

Glen Plake and his companions were aiming to ski down the mountain.

The three men gave an interview to Epic TV about their attempt to ski down Mount Manaslu.

We have thought long and hard about whether to show the video given that Remy and Greg are still missing but feel it shows their ambitions and how they lived their lives.

It gives an insight into why people attempt such feats and the risks involved.

The PlanetSKI content editor, James Cove, interviewed Glen Plake back in 2009 about his life, loves and what makes him tick.

They were both involved in judging the Tignes edition of the Freeride World Tour.

We will bring you further news on the accident in Nepal when we get it.

News Update... French media have given more detaiils of the dead. They are thought to include a Nepalese guide, four Frenchmen, a German, a Spaniard, and an Italian. 

With thanks to EpicTV.

For the spirit of the mountains

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