[We Have Contact!] Local Hikers Near Mt. Everest as Massive Earthquake Strikes, Families Try Not to Worry as Hours Go By With No Word


Two Humboldt County residents near Mount Everest earlier this week. Dave Creech on the left and Neal Carnam on the right have not been heard from since a massive 7.8 quake struck the area earlier today. [All photos in this article used with permission of Jill Creech from her husband’s Facebook page.]

Two Humboldt County residents, Dave Creech and Neal Carnam, were believed to be on a hiking trail near Mount Everest when a 7.8 quake struck about 12:40 a.m. our time. Neither have contacted their anxious families since.  Crumbling buildings and other impacts from the quake have reportedly left over 1300 dead across Nepal. At least 18 people including an American, an executive at Google, were killed when an avalanche triggered by the quake struck near the base camp at Everest. Snow and low clouds are currently keeping rescue aircraft from reaching wounded hikers.

According to Creech’s wife Jill, the two men arrived near the mountain earlier this week. She explained that the two men are adventurers that set out on a trip of a lifetime.


Ama Dablam, a mountain near Everest

She wrote in a message (she didn’t want to tie up her phone line as she waited anxiously for word of how the two men are doing,) that “both Dave & Neal are kind of extreme kind of guys.” She said the two “got the idea in their heads, and then it became a bucket list thing.” The men never planned on climbing to the top of Everest though instead they intended to explore the nearby area.

Jill Creech wrote, “Most [tourists] just go to base camp which has an elevation of 17,700 +/- …for most people that is high enough. Altitude sickness is a real situation…at that elevation.”

The two men arrived at the Mount Everest base camp on Tuesday and spent the night there. Then they “trekked to another peak called Kala Patthar which is on the same trail as base camp,” wrote Creech.


The two local men stayed in this base camp on Tuesday.

Jill Creech believes, though she doesn’t know, that the two men were “hiking the trail to the Lukla airport when the quake hit.” This, she writes, would put the men between the villages of Namche and Lukla. Both men could be assisting with the emergency, she says. (Creech is  a collision repair man and Carnam is an engineer.)

Jill Creech says she and Carnam’s wife “believe they are helping out and then they will find their way home from that small airport, which is hopefully still open.”

According to a post on International Mountain Guides, “There are a number of helicopters on standby in Lukla ready to fly as soon as the weather improves, hopefully first thing in the morning tomorrow.”

Jill Creech believes she will hear from her husband and their friend soon. “Hopefully they will have more adventures to tell us when we hear from them,” she wrote.

We’ll keep in touch with what is happening and update this page as soon as more is known about the two men.

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: Jill Creech reports that the guide company that her husband dealt with has had contact with him. She hopes to hear from him soon.




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