The search for six missing climbers in the aftermath of Sunday's deadly avalanche on the Nepalese peak of Manaslu has been called off. The bodies of nine climbers were recovered and several injured climbers were treated for injuries and hypothermia.
One of the lucky survivors was Glen Plake, an iconic freeskier from Lake Tahoe. Two of Plake's ski-mountaineering companions, Greg Costa and Remy Lecluse, are among the missing on the 26,759-foot peak.
Speaking from Manaslu base camp, Plake told Trey Cook of Epic Tv: "I'm OK, a bit beat up; missing some teeth and a bruised eye but write in big capital letters: GLEN PLAKE IS ALIVE AND HE'S COMING HOME."
Plake, who had been sharing a tent with Costa, also described being swept 900 feet down the mountain in the predawn darkness, in his sleeping bag, as the massive slide tore through Camp 3 at about 20,000 feet, destroying as many as 25 tents.
"We all went to sleep with avalanche transceivers on so I punched my way out of the tent and started searching," Plake said. "I searched for 10 minutes before I realized I was barefoot in the snow.
"Greg had been using my down suit for a pillow and I found my suit, I found everything that was in my tent – camera, sleeping bag, ski boots. It was like someone had thrown my gear in the back of a pickup – but there was no sign of Greg. Remy and his tent are nowhere to be found."
The slide, estimated to measure up to 2,000 feet across, also slammed tents farther down the slope at Camp 2. One of the Camp 2 survivors is Canada's Greg Hill, who in 2010 set a record for climbing and skiing 2 million vertical feet in one calendar year.
Some of the Camp 2 climbers assisted in a Sunday search that became impossible after heavy fog swept over the slope. The search was called off a day later, after it became clear there was no hope of finding any more survivors.
Eight of the nine climbers who were killed have been identified. Four are French, one is Italian, one Spanish, one German, and one is a Nepali national.
Manaslu, the world's eighth tallest peak, is among the most dangerous to climb, having claimed the lives of dozens of mountaineers in recent years.
--Image showing Glen Plake, Remy Lecluse and Greg Costa (left to right) is courtesy of EpicTv