American Colin Haley was recently in the Langtang Valley in Nepal on a climbing trip when the devastating earthquake took place.

Colin Haley reported on Facebook:

“Well, my first trip to Nepal didn’t go as planned. The craziest experience of my life? Yes. A moment at least as terrifying, if not more so, than my seven previous near-death experiences? Yes.

I am extremely lucky to be alive, and so, so many people are extremely unlucky to no longer be alive. Most of the villagers in Kjianjing Gompa lost their homes, their livelihood, and 80 per cent of their family members in the span of about two minutes.

The next village down-valley, Langtang, was essentially completely obliterated by an enormous avalanche, killing what I’ve heard speculated to be 300-plus people. The earthquake was nothing in comparison to the avalanches it triggered. The devastation is immense.

Checking into the wide world just now, it seems that news of my situation has been understandably somewhat inaccurate. While I’d like to believe, and do believe, that I managed to help the people of Kjianjing Gompa in some small ways, I certainly have not been the hero that seems to be portrayed on the internet. I have mostly been focusing simply on staying alive. Thank you so much to all the people who have been helping me from afar in North America (particularly Dylan Johnson and Sarah Hart).

I finally arrived in Kathmandu a few hours ago, and will start my journey home tomorrow night. I feel as though I overdosed on adrenaline every couple hours for three straight days.

Aside from some scrapes, bruises and very sore muscles, my only potential injury is in my neck, which I hope will heal on its own, but I am worried might be more significant. Any medical professionals in Vancouver or Seattle that want to do a charity x-ray/MRI for someone on too-basic of a health care plan?

Thank you for all your well wishes. I’m grateful to be alive, and deeply sorry for all those who aren’t. Despite all the sadness and fear, I loved Nepal.”

Colin Haley on the Canadian Rockies' Mount Columbia's North Ridge.  Photo Ian Welsted
Colin Haley on the Canadian Rockies’ Mount Columbia’s North Ridge. Photo Ian Welsted

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