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Discovery Channel to pay tribute to Sherpas in ‘Everest Avalanche Tragedy’

MUMBAI: Infotainment broadcaster Discovery Channel is geared up to present a special 90-minute show on the ‘Everest Avalanche Tragedy’, showcasing how the incident shook the Sherpa community.

The incident had also led to the cancellation of the channel’s special live telecast of a jump from Mount Everest scheduled for 11 May, after the deadly avalanche left at least 13 dead and three missing.

The special programme will serve as a tribute to the Sherpas affected by the tragedy and their families, with Discovery also contributing to the American Himalayan Foundation Sherpa Family Fund. The 90-minute programme will telecast at 8 pm on 29 May.

It will include unprecedented access and eyewitness accounts from the rescue and recovery efforts that took place after the avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall, the area just above Mount Everest base camp, during the morning of 18 April this year, killing 13 and leaving three missing.

The channel was earlier slated to broadcast five nights of live programmes from Everest Base Camp on 5 May (weather permitting), leading up to the two-hour event in which climber Joby Ogwyn would leap off the top of Mt. Everest. However, on 18 April, an unexpected avalanche hit Khumbu hit the area just above Mount Everest base camp in which many Sherpas lost their lives and three are still missing.

Discovery Networks Asia Pacific EVP and general manager South Asia and head of revenue, pan-regional ad sales and Southeast Asia Rahul Johri said, “This programme is in honour of all the Sherpas who lost their lives.”

‘Everest Avalanche Tragedy’ is produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions, documenting the weeks leading up to the climb through the moment the avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall, one of the most treacherous parts of the mountain, and its aftermath. Cameras rolled immediately as blocks of ice plummeted down the mountain, making it the deadliest single-day avalanche in the history on Mount Everest.

The programme will also feature emotional and real time footage, capturing the mobilisation efforts of Sherpas and rescuers as they rushed to search for survivors. Through eyewitness accounts, viewers will hear from those who experienced the tragedy and aftermath including sit down interviews with Joby Ogwyn, expedition leader Garrett Madison, who played a critical role in the recovery; and Alpine Ascents International president Todd Burleson who lost five Sherpas and other key members of the expedition and production teams.

Viewers too can make a donation to help the families of the deceased by visiting the American Himalayan Foundation Sherpa Family Fund website.

The special programme will be followed by another 30-minute special titled ‘Bear Grylls: Everest after the Avalanche’ at 9:30 pm.

Trailing the tragic avalanche that occurred, this show will dissect the dangers and disasters of the mountain through an insider perspective from Bear himself. Bear will draw on his own experience as an Everest summiteer to share with viewers the danger and the allure of the world’s highest mountain, which was filmed following the disaster.