Man who tried to climb Mt. Everest reacts to avalanche caused by - – Rockford’s News Leader

Man who tried to climb Mt. Everest reacts to avalanche caused by Nepal earthquake


This weekend's earthquake in Nepal also had an impact on Mount Everest. There have been more than a dozen casualties after an avalanche swept down the mountain. One man with ties to the Rockford area tried climbing Mt. Everest a year ago.

"Well, I was very sad," said Jim Geiger. "They probably haven't found all the bodies yet."

Geiger has been following this weekend's tragedy from home here in the United States. The 69-year-old knows more than a dozen people currently on the mountain.

"Luckily everyone that I know is safe and that's just a real blessing, but still it's a very very tragic thing to happen again," said Geiger.

Just a year ago April 18th, 2014 Geiger was in Nepal attempting to be the oldest American to climb Mount Everest. His trip was cut short after a deadly avalanche came tumbling down the mountain claiming the lives of sixteen people. And now in 2015 another disaster strikes. Geiger broke this weekend's news to his daughter Shelly Dippel who lives in Rockton.

"I could tell he was kind of shaken kind of reliving everything that he kind of experienced last year, so I think it really kind of hit home," Dippel said.

The idea of going back and attempting to claim his title has been on Geiger's mind since last year, until now.

"Up until this morning, I was kind of entertaining thoughts of maybe going back someday to claim the oldest American record, but after this avalanche, I don't know," said Geiger

Geiger says while Mount Everest is a place of pure beauty, it's also a force to be reckoned with.

"It's a very pristine place, but it can be very dangerous, so it's nothing to fool with," Geiger adds. "These mountains, let you climb it."

More than a thousand climbers are believed to be on the mountain.

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