Lebanon, N.H. – April 6, 2023 – The full impact of a deadly avalanche striking a Himalayan mountain pass in northeast India this week is unknown but rescue operations for climbers and trekkers affected by the snow slide continue. “Avalanches are one of the deadliest things that can happen on a mountain, and they’re one of the greatest risks a climber or trekker can face,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue. “Preparing for them is a key element of the Global Rescue operations team activity before every deployment to the Himalayas.”   

Global Rescue, the world’s leading provider of field rescue and medical evacuation services, has medical and rescue experts for on-the-ground rescue operations in Nepal – nearly 300 mi/476 km from the site of this recent avalance. . 

Rescue operations after a major snow slide are inherently more dangerous since the chance of further avalanches is elevated, according to Dan Stretch, a Global Rescue operations manager who is based in Nepal during the Mount Everest climbing season and has coordinated hundreds of evacuations and crisis response operations.  

“Additional avalanche risk is a factor. We have to determine the safety for a ground or airborne rescue that will take place where we know the snow and ice are unstable. Avalanches can make the terrain around climbers and trekkers less accessible to rescuers. We receive reports from local expedition groups. Beacon technology helps recover climbers trapped in the snow. Everyone works together,” Stretch said.  

Avalanche forecasting provides up-to-date avalanche conditions, but it’s not as reliable as weather predictions. Climbers communicate with their expedition provider to make them aware of the avalanche risk during a climb. Ascents and descents are attempted during the time of day when avalanche risk is lowest. Whenever possible, mountaineers typically carry an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel when they start their expedition,” Stretch said. 

In October 2022, a massive avalanche swept down Mount Manaslu, striking the mountain’s base camp. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. Later that day, another avalanche on the same mountain tragically took the life of a Nepali guide. A few days later, a deadly avalanche struck a group of mountaineers training on Mount Draupadi ka Danda II.   


Contact Bill McIntyre at bmcintyre@globalrescue.com or 202.560.1195 (phone/text) for more information.       

About Global Rescue        

Global Rescue is the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services to enterprises, governments and individuals. Founded in 2004, Global Rescue has exclusive relationships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations and Elite Medical Group. Global Rescue provides best-in-class services that identify, monitor and respond to client medical and security crises. Global Rescue has provided medical and security support to its clients, including Fortune 500 companies, governments and academic institutions, during every globally significant crisis of the last two decades. For more information, visit www.globalrescue.com.