A Team of Scientists Faces the Mt. Everest Avalanche

A fatal avalanche shook Mount Everest this morning, claiming the lives of at least a dozen Sherpa guides. Right now, geoscientist and Scientific American blogger Ulyana Horodyskyj is currently on the mountain documenting her team's ascent.

Photo Credit: Stefan Perneborg // CC BY 2.0

The second installment in Horodyskyj's ongoing series just went live a few hours ago. According to an addendum from her editor, she submitted her post this morning, along with an update on her status. She and her group are safe, though a friend of one of the Sherpas assisting her team was killed in the avalanche.

Horodyskyj and her team of scientists are on Everest to investigate how much soot is settling on snow at the top of the region's colossal glaciers. As with most forms of fieldwork, her research carries with it a certain – or, in this case, high – element of risk. It will be interesting to see how this morning's events affect her reportage going forward. Horodyskyj's second blog entry was written prior to this morning's snowslide, and so makes no mention of it. Still, one has to imagine the avalanche will affect the arc of her coverage – for the next installment, at a very minimum.

Follow Horokyskyj's updates over at SciAm.