Immediate priority is to assist with rescue efforts, network says
The “Everest Jump Live” special that Discovery Channel had planned for May 11 is in question following a deadly avalanche Thursday night that killed 13.
The network would not say whether it planned to cancel or postpone the jump, only that the first priority for daredevil Joby Ogwyn, who was at Mount Everest at the time of the avalanche, is to assist with rescue efforts.
“The avalanche last night on Mt. Everest is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are lost and with their families,” Discovery said in a statement. “The immediate priority for Joby and the team is to assist the search and rescue efforts in anyway possible.”
An NBC News crew was also on site preparing for the special, which is being produced by NBC’s Peacock Productions and hosted by NBC News’ Willie Geist. Camera operator Ed Wardle and producer Jonathan Fierro said on “Today” that none of the “Everest Jump Live” team was injured in the incident.
“Our plan was to leave last night along with the sherpas; we delayed for 24 hours so we’re still down here, safe,” Wardle told Savannah Guthrie.
Wardle said the real tragedy was that this incident occurred at the beginning of the traditional climbing season at Everest, which throws into question whether anyone should continue with their plans to summit the world’s highest peak.
“I think a lot of people are wondering whether it’s appropriate to go on given the scale of this tragedy,” Guthrie said.
Watch the interview here: