Agent receives text from client stranded on Everest

Agent receives text from client stranded on Everest

When Travel Counsellor Tim Fitzgerald received a text message at 8.44am on Saturday from one of his clients in Nepal, he knew he was in for a busy weekend.

The agent had booked flights and accommodation for eight out of the 10-strong group of experienced climbers on a trip to Mount Everest. They were planning to get into the Guinness World Book of Records by hosting the world’s highest black-tie dinner party and raise £100,000 for Community Action Nepal.

Disaster had already struck days earlier, when one of the group was evacuated to Kathmandu suffering from a pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs).

“I had booked a flight back on Saturday evening but the text said an earthquake had struck and it had gone crazy,” recalled Fitzgerald.

While he spent hours trying to find out if and when his client’s flight was going ahead, Fitzgerald’s fears grew about his remaining clients.

“They were at the Advanced Base Camp. The longer we didn’t hear anything, the more worried we were,” he admitted.

Finally, on Tuesday, Fitzgerald got a call from client Neil Laughton, an explorer and entrepreneur, from base camp.

“They were all fine.” he said. “They originally got there by flying to Beijing and taking the train. They came back the same way.”

Other Brits stranded on Mount Everest included Alex Staniforth, 19, a speaker at the Abta Lifeline dinner last year. He was airlifted to safety. The 19-year-old mountaineer was on his second attempt to reach the summit.

Most tour operators have cancelled tours to the region until May 11, offering customers refunds or the chance to delay their travel.


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