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In April 2014 Mark Horrell went on a mountaineering expedition to Nepal, hoping to climb Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world, which shares a base camp and climbing route with Mount Everest.
He dreamed of following in the footsteps of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, by climbing through the infamous ice maze of the Khumbu Icefall, and he yearned to sleep in the grand amphitheatre of Everest Base Camp, surrounded by towering peaks.
He was also intrigued by the media publicity surrounding commercial expeditions to Everest. He wanted to discover for himself whether it had become the circus that everybody described.
But when a devastating avalanche swept across the Khumbu Icefall, he got more than he bargained for. Suddenly he found himself witnessing the greatest natural disaster Everest had ever seen.
And that was just the start. Everest Sherpas came out in protest, issuing a list of demands to the Government of Nepal. What happened next left his team shocked, bewildered and fearing for their safety.
About this series
The Footsteps on the Mountain Diaries are Mark's expedition journals. They are edited versions of what he scribbles in his tent each evening after a day in the mountains, with a bit of history thrown in. Light-hearted and engaging, they provide a perfect introduction to life on the trail.
He has published two full-length books: Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest (2015), about his ten-year journey from hill walker to Everest climber, and Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo (2019), about an expedition to cycle and climb from sea level to the furthest point from the centre of the earth.