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Whitefish man discusses experiences on Mount Everest

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Apr 18 2014 06:43:27 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2014 06:51:22 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

An avalanche buried and killed at least 13 people, with more injured and missing. It's the deadliest recorded accident on Mount Everest.

Whitefish cinematographer David Rasmussen has traveled over the Khumbu Icefall, the area where the avalanche happened, many times during his three expeditions.

"It's certainly the most dangerous, in terms of the ice being able to fall and collapse, and many people have died in the icefall because they happen to be going through when all of a sudden part of that icefall collapses," said Rasmussen.

The sherpas were out setting the route for climbers, but in that area, the snow and ice can move quickly and unexpectedly.

"The glacier flows out of the Western Khume and over, basically, a cliff.  So it would be like a waterfall, but it's not water, its ice.  And so what happens when that glacier goes over that cliff or rather a cascade, it breaks up and so it's all in big, large, frozen chunks," Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen showed us pictures of his trips over the years.

While it's dangerous work filming on Everest, it's work that he loves.

"People generally want to figure out 'Well who's to blame, what went wrong?'  But when you have an avalanche like this you can't say that anybody is to blame, or anything went wrong.  It's just a tragedy,” Rasmussen said.