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Avalanche Survivor Recounts Brush With Deadly Slide

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Manaslu in Nepal (credit: Dr. John Hill)

Manaslu in Nepal (credit: Dr. John Hill)

MANASLU, Nepal (CBS4)- Avalanche survivor Dr. John Hill is back home in Colorado after a terrifying brush with a deadly snow slide in Nepal. He almost died on one of the world’s tallest peaks.

An avalanche on the eighth highest mountain in the world, Manaslu in Nepal, swept away more than a dozen people leaving at least 11 dead.

“It’s listed as the fourth deadliest mountain in the world,” said Hill.

He and the other climbers were sleeping in their tents in complete darkness when he heard a thunderous boom.

“You hear whoooh,” said Hill. “The tents collapsing down and there is snow everywhere in the tent.

“There was a Sherpa running down from Camp Three above us, ‘Camp Three is gone! We need a rescue, we need a rescue!'”

Rescuers have recovered eight bodies but at least 11 were killed.

About two dozen climbers were sleeping at a staging camp at just above 22,000 feet when the avalanche hit. All of the tents and the people in them were swept away.

Hill was in Camp Two just below Camp Three.

“You’re sad for the people who died and knowing you could have been one of them. If an hour later it would have hit we would have been on our way to Camp Three,” said Hill.

Hill said his life is forever changed and he is grateful.

His group never made summit and instead descended after the avalanche.

“For some reason God spared my life and others were taken and there is no logical reason for that,” said Hill.

He said he will climb again if the opportunity presents itself.

“I definitely will be climbing again. You think you can control risk but there are some things you have no control over,” said Hill.

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