Great Chishill’s Jo begins journey home from Nepal after surviving killer Everest earthquake

Jo Bradshaw

Jo Bradshaw - Credit: Archant

A Great Chishill woman who became stranded on Mount Everest by the devastating earthquake that has killed more than 5,000 people has started her long journey home.

Jo Bradshaw

Jo Bradshaw - Credit: Archant

Jo Bradshaw and her climbing partner Rolfe Oostra were left fearing for their lives at Camp 1, 200 kilometres from the centre of the earthquake.

Three sherpa guides who were helping Jo’s team died when the quake hit on Saturday.

The scene at Camp 1 was terrifying, and Rolfe described the tense few days in a message on Facebook. He said: “It was scary as hell.

“We were living on the edge with new tremors making Camp 1 unstable and causing avalanches. It has been nervewracking.

“The noises have been intense and trying to predict directions of these knock on avalanches has left us all frayed.”

On Monday the team were airlifted to Base Camp before beginning the journey home via Lukla yesterday without any of their equipment.

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When the team reached Base Camp, Rolfe described the scene as reminiscent of a nuclear bomb site, with debris lining the mountains and bodies covered in snow waiting to be airlifted out.

Jo flew out to Nepal with the challenge of becoming the first British woman to climb both Everest and Lhoste in one trip in aid of the children’s charity Place2Be.

The charity posted the following statement on its Facebook page: “We are very pleased that Jo and her climbing partner Rolfe are well and are awaiting their safe return to the UK. We send our condolences to the families of the sherpas and other climbers whose lives have tragically been lost through the avalanche.

“Jo is an experienced climber, expedition leader and outdoor instructor and we are extremely grateful for her support.”

Kathryn Furnell, a close friend of Jo’s who is in regular contact with the climber, said: “Right now, keeping body and soul in tact is the main priority.

“Jo has started her trek out of Base Camp and hopes to be back home within the next week.”

The 44-year-old has received numerous messages of support on social media.

Louise Alder tweeted: “Hi Jo, I don’t know you personally, but I have been inspired by your project. Terrible to hear of the disaster but glad you are keeping safe.”

The former business advisor is a highly experienced adventure leader, having taken almost 4,000 participants on around 70 challenges across the world for Discover Adventure.

More than a quarter of Nepal’s population have been affected by Saturday’s earthquake and 1.4 million people are in need of food aid, the UN has reported.

Buildings in Kathmandu have been destroyed and rural areas have been severely affected.