UPDATE 9/25: Glen Plake Survives Weekend Nepal Avalanche; Lecluse, Costa Still Missing
UPDATE 9/25: A press conference was held in Chamonix, France with officials explaining the search for survivors has ended. Among the missing are Rémy Lecluse and Greg Costa, Glen Plake’s teammates. Plake survived the avalanche.
“The rescue teams feel they did all they could to find further victims, but they have now given up all hope of finding any more survivors. The search has been called off for good,” they said.
ORIGINAL STORY: News reports out of Nepal say American freeskiing legend Glen Plake is among the survivors of the massive weekend avalanche on Mount Manaslu. Plake, Rémy Lecluse, and Greg Costa were attempting a team ascent on the eighth tallest mountain in the world without using oxygen.
EpicTV, Ski Racing, and ESPN are reporting Lecluse and Costa are among the missing, while 11 are confirmed dead. The avalanche hit Camp III at nearly 24,000 feet where the climbers/extreme skiers were headed toward the peak. Some 50 people from a number of expeditions were on the mountain.
Here’s what Plake told EpicTV:
“Greg and I were in a tent together, Rémy was in another. It was 4:45 a.m. and I was in my sleeping bag with my headlamp on reading my devotional when we heard a roar. Greg looked at me and said, ‘That was a big gust of wind,’ then a second later, ‘No, that was an avalanche.’
“Then it hit us. I was swept 300 meters over a serac and down the mountain and came to a stop still in my sleeping bag, still inside the tent. We all went to sleep with avalanche transceivers on so I punched my way out of the tent and started searching. Searched for 10 minutes when I realized I was barefoot.
“Greg was 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 pick-up. But, there was no sign of Greg. Rémy and his tent are nowhere to be found.”
Photo: Rémy Lecluse, Glen Plake, Greg Costs (EpicTV Photo)