A man caught up in the devastating Nepal earthquake has vowed to return to the country to help rebuild the lives of young people.
For Marcus Irving, tackling Mount Everest to celebrate his 40th birthday was the trip of a lifetime and after a year of intensive training, he couldn’t wait to set off on the journey.
The father-of-three works as a senior instructor at Mixenden Activity Centre and had planned to spend his birthday at base camp
Mr Irving and his group arrived in Kathmandu on April 22, but their journey was cut short when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the country on April 25.
The group were in the village of Khumjung when disaster struck.
Mr Irving, 40, of Bath Place, Boothtown, said: “We’d stopped for a drink when the building started to shake, we just sat looking at each other.
“It felt like a washing machine. Then the lady who owned the bakery told us to get out. Villagers were screaming and crying and a dry stone wall crumbled in front of us. It was surreal.”
Despite the devastation, Mr Irving and his group decided to stay in Nepal following advice from the Foreign Office.
Their next few days were spent in a lodge in Namche Bazar, but echoes of the disaster were not far away. Mr Irving added: “A little tremor sent everyone into a panic, everyone was hyper sensitive to noise and movements.”
The group then experienced a second 7.3-magnitude earthquake on May 12, but have now arrived back in the UK.
Now, Marcus hopes to revisit Nepal to help those affected by the disaster.
“Phortse is a village where the school is damaged and the plan is to take a group of Mixenden Activity Centre peer mentors out to this village as there is a climbing club there where the group can help the young people in the village, support the rebuilding of the school and library and take out essential supplies to support the school,” he said.