Colorado climbers safe, expecting airlift after being stranded on Everest during quake

National/World News
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Data pix.

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- At least six Colorado mountaineers were climbing Mount Everest when a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, killing thousands less than 50 miles from the capital of Kathmandu on Saturday.

Climbers Jim Davidson, Alan Arnette, Matt Moniz and Jon Kedrowski survived the earthquake and giant avalanche, but all were at different locations on Mount Everest.

On Sunday, Kedrowski told FOX31 Denver meteorologist Chris Tomer his group of climbers was safe at the Everest Basecamp and hoping to be airlifted on Monday.

Later Sunday night, which was early Monday in Nepal, Tomer was able to confirm that Davidson had been airlifted safely back to the Everest Basecamp from Camp 1, one of the hardest hit camps.

Tomer was still awaiting word on the status of Arnette, who was also at one of the higher-elevation camps.

Moniz, who is just 17-year-olds, has been in touch with his father Matt Moniz, who lives in Boulder.

"He (Matt) is like, 'Dad I can't talk.  I have to go help,'" Matt said.  "It was frustrating for me because I wanted to talk to Matt.  I wanted to engage with him."

Tomer has been close friends with Kedrowski, Arnette and Davidson, and has climbed with Kedrowski for 15 years.

Tomer talked with Kedrowski on a satellite phone shortly after the earthquake shook Everest.

“I could tell immediately in Jon’s voice that something was wrong," Tomer said. "I’ve heard it before.  Jon said the mountain shook, the entire glacier shook and cracked.  People ran from their tents.  A sonic blast swept across base camp as a giant piece of ice and rock sheared off Pumori landing right in the Khumbu Icefall.”

RELATED: How to help victims of the Nepal earthquake 

Davidson and Arnette were located at Camp 1 and 2 on Saturday afternoon, which means they were cut off from base camp.  They have about a week’s worth of supplies and were holding tight on Saturday.

The picture below was tweeted by Arnette near the beginning of the Mount Everest journey.

Data pix.

  • Jim Davidson and Meteorologist Chris Tomer.
  • Jon Kedrowski and Meteorologist Chris Tomer.
  • Jon Kedrowski and Meteorologist Chris Tomer.
  • Jon Kedrowski, Jim Davidson, Alan Arnette, and Meteorologist Chris Tomer.
  • Jon Kedrowski at the basecamp.

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