There are around 100 climbers at camps 1 and 2 on Mount Everest, above base camp, and all are safe after an earthquake set off an avalanche, Ang Tshering Sherpa, the head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said on Sunday.
The avalanche that swept through parts of base camp had the combined force of two separate snowslides from different peaks and blanketed the camp in powder snow, Mr Sherpa said.
Rescue team personnel carry an injured person towards a waiting rescue helicopter at Everest base camp on April 26, 2015.
Prayer flags frame a rescue helicopter as it ferries the injured from base camp.
It will be difficult to evacuate the climbers as the route back to base camp through the Khumbu icefalls is blocked, said Mr Sherpa.
Nepali sherpas and other Nepali members of expeditons watch as a rescue helicopter takes off.
Rescuers in Nepal are searching frantically for survivors.
Banja, a porter working for a trekking company holds on to a gas mask after he was injured by snow and debris from an avalanche that flattened parts of the base camp.
Many of the climbers had travelled to Nepal for the start of the annual climbing season, which was cancelled last year after 16 sherpa guides were killed in what was previously the deadliest disaster in the mountain’s history.
Rescuers use a makeshift stretcher to carry an injured person to safety
Rescuers tend to an injured sherpa.
Ropes, ice screws and snow pickets were being flown to a large number of climbers trapped above the treacherous Khumbu icefall which was the scene of last year’s disaster, said Alex Gavan, a Romanian climber on Twitter.
Snowfalls on Saturday had thwarted efforts to airlift survivors before the skies cleared on Sunday morning.
The earthquake dislodged a ‘huge block of ice’ above base camp which sparked a ‘huge aerosol avalanche’ that slammed into the upper section of base camp, blowing tents across the mountain, according to US-based Madison Mountaineering.