What It’s Like To Step Foot In Nepal Today
On April 25 an earthquake shook Nepal and killed more than 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000 people. This was the worst earthquake to destroy Nepal since 1934. The quake caused a massive avalanche on Mount Everest, leaving 19 people dead. This avalanche sealed April 25, 2015 in the books as the deadliest day on the mountain. Entire villages were flattened and homes completely disappeared, leaving most homeless. Centuries-old buildings and sacred temples were demolished. On May 12 another earthquake occurred, killing 218 people and injuring more than 3,500 people. After these tragic events Nepal will never be the same. The streets are stilled by the ghosts of buildings that were destroyed—buildings that once held rich history and generations upon generations of native people. Rubble clutters the villages making the lives of inhabitants even more remote than they were previously.
The backdrop to Nepal includes Mount Everest and the chillingly high peaks that neighbor it. The mountains known as the Himalayas are so breathtakingly majestic that they can move anyone to silence. Clouds float along the middle of the mountains revealing sharp peaks with vivid lines reaching below the clouds. Extreme snow sports athletes have long dreamed of some day descending these lines, but Jeremy Jones made the first descent in the Himalayas at 21,000 feet. Jones spent weeks in Nepal getting accustomed to the altitude and climate, while also growing close to the mysterious community in Nepal. Facing 60-degree spine walls and high-altitude avalanches, it was a legendary success for people within and outside the snowboarding community. The people of Kathmandu met Jones’ mission with skepticism because they were used to only seeing expert climbers tackle the daunting mountains.
The same community that witnessed Jones’ return with celebration and awe was the most impacted by the earthquakes. This same community has seen almost 4,000 climbers achieve the trophy of climbing Mount Everest. The aftermath of the quakes has a layer of abundant life unlike anywhere else in the world. Nepal boldly faces the Himalayas daily, witnessing some of the greatest feats ever accomplished in the history of all time. This is the courage that runs in their blood, the courage that inspires them to pick themselves up after such devastating disasters.