Local News

Safe but somber, Triangle climbers on Everest await rescue

Posted April 27, 2015 5:04 p.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2015 6:48 p.m. EDT

Ron Wahula's Mount Everest trek turned into a nightmare Saturday morning, when the peak and surrounding area shook under the force of a magnitude-7.8 earthquake. The tremor set off avalanches that smashed into the mountain's base camp.

Dozens died, including four Americans. Wahula, of Raleigh, and his friend, John Dodd of Durham, were lucky to be unhurt, but two days later, they were still waiting to get safely off the mountain. Aftershocks, and any subsequent avalanche they could cause, make climbing down too dangerous.

After the initial quake, Wahula quickly got in touch with his family via text message, and friends have left messages of support on his Facebook page, but it wasn't until Monday that he could call his wife, Carol.

"She feels much better today after being able to talk to Ron," a family friend said.

During daylight hours, helicopters are being deployed to evacuate the stranded climbers.

"The mood of the team is, they are grateful for their safety, but the mood is somber," Carol Wahula said.