Premieres Monday, April 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
From a group of seasoned climbers making their second attempt at the Everest Summit and a couple staying in Kyanjin Gumpa, Langtang, to an experienced guide and his groups of adventurers, NIGHTMARE ON EVEREST tells these stories of climbers and trekkers that had no idea they would be linked together forever. With exclusive footage from those in Everest Base Camp and Langtang National Park, the documentary captures how the excitement of the incredible journey quickly turned to paralyzing fear moments after the earthquake, before the avalanche began. At that point, any movement would mean the difference between life and death.
Jim Davidson, a climber for 30 years who was making his first attempt on Everest, remembers the feeling of terror when the earthquake struck. “It was like stepping out onto a highway in a fog bank and hearing trucks roaring at you from several directions, but you don’t know which way to run,” Davidson says.
With much of the focus on Mount Everest, the destruction of one of Nepal’s most popular trekking regions – Langtang National Park – failed to make headlines in the days following the earthquake. With more than 200 people killed by a single landslide in the National Park, Langtang Village itself was buried. Scores of tourists and villagers faced deadly peril as constant landslides and aftershocks threatened to wipe out what was left of the communities along the mountainous trail. Travelers share for the first time how they cheated death the day of the quake, while remaining in critical danger for agonizing days until their eventual helicopter rescue.