Monitors flash Kaji Sherpa's vital signs as he recovers in the ICU of Katmandu's Norvic International hospital. Miraculously, the 39-year-old senior climber survived the wall of deadly ice and snow that crushed 16 of his colleagues in the largest loss of life in a single day on Everest, the mountain Sherpas call "Mother Goddess of Earth."
The team had been preparing a path for their clients, fixing ropes on a treacherous stretch known as the "Popcorn" ice field, so-called for its bulging chunks of ice.
"There was a small hill" that acted as a buffer, Kaji says.
Mother of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, holds prayers beads in her hand and cries while she waits for his body at Sherpa Monastery in Katmandu, Nepal, on April 19, 2014.