Discovery Channel to Air EVEREST AVALANCHE TRAGEDY on 5/4
Discovery Channel announced today that it will broadcast a 90-minute documentary, titled EVEREST AVALANCHE TRAGEDY, on Sunday, May 4, at 9 PM ET/PT that will air around the WORLD 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 to air 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.
"We were at Mt. Everest to make history, but instead we were there as eyewitnesses to history," said Eileen O'Neill, Group President, Discovery, Science and Velocity Networks. "It is essential to tell this story and honor all the Sherpas who lost their lives."
EVEREST AVALANCHE TRAGEDY, produced by NBC News' Peacock Productions, 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 immediately following, as blocks of ice plummeted down the mountain, making it the deadliest single-day avalanche in history on Mt. Everest.
The documentary will feature highly emotional and real time footage, capturing the mobilization efforts of Sherpas and rescuers as they rushed to search for survivors. Through eyewitness accounts, viewers will hear from those who experienced this horrible tragedy and aftermath including sit down interviews with Joby Ogwyn; Expedition Leader Garrett Madison, who played a critical role in the recovery; Todd Burleson, president of Alpine Ascents International who lost five Sherpas; and other key members of the expedition and production teams.
The documentary will serve as a tribute to all the Sherpas and their families affected by the tragedy. Discovery 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.
EVEREST AVALANCHE TRAGEDY is produced by NBC News' Peacock Productions for Discovery. Liz Fischer and Betsy Wagner are Executive Producers with Gretchen Eisele, Colleen Halpin, Benjamin Ringe and Knute Walker. Sharon Scott is President and GM of Peacock Productions. Howard Swartz serves as Executive Producer for Discovery with Executive Producers Denise Contis, Andrew Jackson and Julie Meisner Eagle.