Sherpas

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.

Courtesy Alpine Ascents International

Last Friday’s avalanche on Mount Everest was especially devastating for one Seattle-based mountaineering company.

Of the 16 Sherpa guides killed, five of them were employees of Alpine Ascents International.

AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha

Marcie Sillman speaks with Mingma T. Sherpa, a Seattle-area resident who grew up in Khumjung, Nepal.

Mingma is also a member of the Northwest Sherpa Association. He talks about the deadly avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 16 Sherpas, including his childhood friend.