Discovery Channel announced today that it will telecast its documentary about the deadliest incident in Mt. Everest history one week earlier than it was to have aired the Everest live jump special that got scrapped when 13 Sherpa guides were killed in an avalanche.
The 90-minute documentary, Everest Avalanche Tragedy will air on Sunday, May 4, at 9 PM ET/PT in 224 countries. It will include unprecedented access and eyewitness accounts from the rescue and recovery efforts that took place after the avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall, the area just above Mt. Everest base camp, during the morning of Friday, April 18, killing 13 and leaving three missing. Members of an NBC News team were at base camp as they prepared to produce Discovery’s live special, Everest Jump Live (scheduled for Sunday, May 11) when the avalanche hit. The special would have featured climber Joby Ogwyn’s attempt to make the first wing suit flight off the summit of the world’s tallest mountain.
Related: Discovery To Turn Everest Jump Footage Into Documentary
Everest Avalanche Tragedy will document the weeks leading up to the climb through the moment the avalanche struck the Khumba Icefall, one of the most treacherous parts of the mountain, and its aftermath. Cameras rolled as blocks of ice plummeted down the mountain, making it the deadliest single-day avalanche in history on Mt. Everest.
The documentary will real time footage of mobilization efforts of Sherpas and rescuers as they rushed to search for survivors. Among those interviewed will be Ogwyn; expedition leader Garrett Madison, who played a critical role in the recovery; Todd Burleson, president of Alpine Ascents International, who had employed five of the Sherpas killed in the avalanche; and other key members of the expedition and production teams.
Discovery said in today’s announcement it will be contributing to the American Himalayan Foundation Sherpa Family Fund, which gives 100% of all donations to help families of the deceased. To make a donation, visit http://himalayan-foundation.org/blog/119010.
Liz Fischer and Betsy Wagner are executive producers of the special, with Gretchen Eisele, Colleen Halpin, Benjamin Ringe and Knute Walker. Sharon Scott is President and GM of Peacock Productions. Howard Swartz serves as EP for Discovery with EPs Denise Contis, Andrew Jackson and Julie Meisner Eagle.
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