Monday 15 November 2010
One night during my recent walk to Mt. Everest there seemed to be a million stars. And so the camera was pointed at the treacherous mountain known as Ama Dablam, or “mother’s necklace,” and at the stars above her shoulders. The serious climbers consider this mountain more difficult and dangerous to climb than Mount Everest. Kaksher, my Sherpa guide, had reached the summit of Everest twice, and the summit of Ama Dablam eight times. Some days after this image was made, a Japanese climbing team got into trouble. I was told they used a satellite phone to ring help in Japan, who called the Japanese Embassy in Kathmandu. A rescue helicopter was launched and one climber was brought to safety. The helicopter returned for the second climber. As the rescuer was lowered by rope, winds apparently buffeted the helicopter sending the pilot and tethered rescuer down the mountain to their deaths. Kaksher Sherpa was a friend of the lost pilot, and said was a good man. Two more helicopters were sent to search, eventually finding the remains of the two rescuers, which were flown back to Kathmandu and cremated at Pashupatinath. This was all last week. While the two rescuers were killed, the two climbers survived.
If you look very closely into this image taken days before the accident, you can see four shooting stars.
To download a copy of this image for personal use, please click To Wish Upon a Star.