Via Reuters: Seventeen bodies found at Everest base camp, official says. Excerpt:
Seventeen bodies have been recovered at the base camp on Mount Everest where hundreds of climbers are stranded after an earthquake in Nepal on Saturday triggered an avalanche on the world's highest peak, a mountaineering official said.
The first helicopter took off from Kathmandu on Sunday morning to airlift the injured after flights were delayed by cloudy weather, Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told Reuters. At least 61 people were injured.
The avalanche swept down Everest, burying part of the base camp as climbers gathered near the main route to the summit at the beginning of the climbing season in the deadliest incident on the mountain.
U.S. climber John Reiter said dozens of people had suffered critical injuries, many of them with head injuries. "It's been a rough 18 hours," he told CNN.
An Indian army spokesman said earlier a climbing team found 18 bodies on Saturday in the first hours after the quake. Nepal's Tourism Ministry could only confirm 10 deaths, but spokesman Gyanendra Shrestha said the toll could rise. One of those killed was Dan Fredinburg, a Google engineer based in California. He suffered head injuries when the avalanche hit, according to a statement from the mountaineering company that had taken him to base camp.
"We pray too for all those who have lost their lives in one of the greatest tragedies ever to hit this Himalayan nation," Jagged Globe said.
Tourism ministry officials estimated that at least 1,000 climbers, including about 400 foreigners, had been at base camp or on the ascent to the peak when the earthquake struck.
April is one of the most popular times to scale the 8,850-metre (29,035 foot) peak before rain and clouds cloak it at the end of May. Almost exactly a year ago, an avalanche killed 16 Nepali guides in what was the single deadliest day on the mountain.
Afterthought: I should point out that these deaths represent less than one percent of those so far reported in Nepal. The percentage is likely to be even smaller as more is learned about the effects of the quake, but the western casualties will always receive a disproportionate share of the coverage.