South Tahoe Extreme Skier Survives Nepal Avalanche
Glen Plake is among the survivors of an avalanche that killed at least 11 people two days ago, in Nepal.
Glen's father, Jim, says he has mixed emotions because his son survived the avalanche, but two of his close friends were buried in the snow.
"There is nothing that can describe it," Jim Plake said. "He's alive and everybody else is dead. How do you describe it? You can't."
Plake says his son has been climbing and skiing since he was a little boy.
In fact, Glen had already survived two avalanches before this one.
"I'm hoping that when he gets back from this, he realizes that 'Okay, the big bullet was fired at me and it missed and I'm okay and it's good enough,'" Jim Plake said.
Glen and his friends were trying to become the first people to climb and ski down Mount Manaslu without the aid of oxygen.
The mountain is the eighth highest peak in the world.
Plake was in his tent, reading his Bible, when the avalanche hit.
"The entire high camp that they were at, Camp 3, is totally gone," Jim Plake said.
Plake was sharing a tent with his friend Greg Costa. Another friend, Remy Lacluse, was in a nearby tent.
The avalanche sent Plake's tent about 300 yards into a crevasse, where he was able to dig his way out.
"It sounded like he had been in a street fight and got beat up and then when they finished with him, they drug him behind a car," Jim Plake said. "He said 'That's what I feel like.'"
Plake came away with some broken teeth, some bruises, and possible broken ribs.
Many others were not as lucky.
"I can guarantee you, right now, he is more concerned with everybody else on the mountain than he is himself," Jim Plake said.
Costa was thrown from the tent and has not been found.
Lacluse, is also among the missing.
For the time being, the search has been called off.
"The last day and a half has been a roller coaster ride," Jim Plake said. "Mainly because he's fine and it's just tears of joy but you have a bad feeling for the other families."
The survivors of the avalanche, including Plake, are being taken to Katmandu.
He plans on going to France, where his friends are from, and return their belongings to their families, before returning home, in a few weeks.
Written by Paul Nelson ---
Nepal's Tourism Ministry on Monday identified eight of the nine climbers killed in an avalanche that hit them before dawn a day earlier while they slept in their tents high on Mount Manaslu, the world's eighth tallest peak. Four of those identified were French, and the others were from Germany, Italy, Nepal and Spain. Searchers were still trying Monday to find six others who were missing. The climbers who died came from all walks of life. Here are snapshots of who they were.
MARTI GASULL, 43, Spain
Founded and led the Barcelona-based Plataforma per la Llengua (Platform for the Language in Catalan) group that promotes and defends the Catalan language and culture of his native region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain, where many citizens want greater autonomy from Spain or outright independence. His group described Gasull as an independence supporter and an experienced mountaineer. He was born in Barcelona, Spain's second largest city, and is survived by his parents and a younger brother.
FABRICE PRIEZ, France
Mountain guide based in Chamonix in the French Alps, supervised activities in Chamonix for the UCPA national sport vacation organization.
CATHERINE MARIE ANDREE RICARD, France
Lived in Chamonix in the French Alps, described by French media as a climber.
LUDOVIC PAUL NICHOLAS CHALLEAT, France
Mountain guide originally from Lyon who most recently lived in Chamonix in the French Alps. He recently posted videos online from climbing and skiing expeditions from Greenland to the Himalayas.