Mountaineer sets sights on Nepal return

Andy Taylor pictured at Everest base camp
Andy Taylor pictured at Everest base camp

A man has said he hopes to return to Nepal after his Everest journey was cut short when a devastating earthquake hit the country.

For Andy Taylor, former headteacher of Salterlee Primary School, Shibden, climbing Everest was a lifelong ambition.

Mr Taylor and his group began their journey on March 28, but their trip of a lifetime was cut short when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit on April 25.

The group were on the north side of Everest base camp when they were caught in the midst of the disaster.

Mr Taylor, 45, said: “We were possibly in the safest place we could be.

“We were in a good position, the south side was hit by horrendous avalanches.

“It felt like been on a water bed when it hit - the aftershocks weren’t as big but they were very often.

“Afterwards, news started c oming through, some of our Sherpas had family members who were missing.

“One had a daughter who had been rushed to hospital, another had a brother on the south side who was lost, but in the end he was OK.”

Following the earthquake, which is thought to have killed more than 8,000 people, Everest was deemed too unsafe and was closed. And although Mr Taylor, who lives in Holmfirth, Huddersfield, and his group were able to make their way back home, a second 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on May 12, causing further deaths and destruction.

Mr Taylor added: “You just feel so sickened for them.

“It really puts things into perspective.”

Now, Mr Taylor said he would like to return to Everest one day and hopes to gain sponsorship to complete the journey.

Salterlee staff and pupils did their bit to help Nepal. Teaching assistant Alex Murray drew a picture of Everest, which was then filled with coins. Money raised will be sent to the Nepal appeal.