Triangle man witnessed Mt. Everest's deadliest day
Posted May 10
Updated May 11
Durham, N.C. — It was a trip of a lifetime, but when Shane Jones looks back at pictures from his journey to Mount Everest the memories are frightening.
Jones, originally from Raleigh, was attempting to scale Mt. Everest — a day that would include the deadliest disaster in the history of the world's highest mountain and end the climbing season on Everest.
Jones said he was less than a mile away from where 16 mountain guides, known as Sherpas, were killed by falling ice and rocks last month.
"We knew pretty quickly it wasn't going to be good," he said. "It was pretty gruesome just to see the bodies being brought down one after another and stacked up near our camp."
After the avalanche, many Sherpas frustrated by low wages and working conditions refused to go back on the mountain, forcing an early end to the climbing season.
Climbers, including Jones, were not able to finish their trip.
"When that many people die it's just too much right there in front of you. I didn't feel like I could continue, and I don't think I could go back and do it again," Jones said.
Jones returned from his trip last week, but said he was not originally scheduled to return to North Carolina until June. Although Jones does not plan to try to reach the top of Mt. Everest, he does plan to continue climbing.
The avalanche was the deadliest disaster on the world's highest mountain. It was triggered when a massive piece of glacier sheared away from the mountain along a treacherous section of constantly shifting ice and crevasses known as the Khumbu Icefall, marked by overhanging ice as big as office buildings.