Blog: Saved by a bowl of soup in quake-hit Nepal

Rob Heymink avoided almost certain death from an avalanche triggered by the Nepal earthquake after stopping for food.

Rob Heymink Nepal earthquake survivor
An unscheduled break for a bowl of soup saved Heymink from an avalanche triggered by the earthquake [Al Jazeera]

Rob Heymink, a director of an office company in Brisbane, Australia, was on a hiking trip to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, when Saturday’s earthquake struck.

The 57-year-old father of four avoided death or serious injury from an avalanche caused by the tremor thanks to an unscheduled soup break.

The disaster has killed at least 2,430 people so far, including 17 on Everest. But amid the tragic stories of destruction, there are also stories of miraculous, or lucky escapes.

Here is Rob’s first hand account:

Would you believe a decision to stop and have soup before pushing to Base Camp is what made the difference?

Still, we found ourselves 40 minutes or so from Base Camp experiencing first, a serious earthquake of such force that we were knocked off our feet.

Then taking cover from rock falls. Worried about whether our position would slide.

The next thing we hear; the avalanche crash. We saw this massive cloud of snow rushing at us from the other side of the glacier – so we took cover on the other side of the boulder again and we were hit with a blast of wind and snow like you couldn’t imagine.

Aftershocks continued through the night, and as recently as last 30 minutes as I write this.

Back to the soup. If we had not stopped for that (and we nearly didn’t) we would have been in EBC (Everest Base Camp) and suffered the same fate as they did. They got hit with another avalanche from a different side.

My thoughts are with those who are lost, their families, and the people of Nepal.

We are fine, walked a long way down today, and two more days walk to get to Lukla; the staging point to get to Kathmandu.

We will see from there.

Not worried from here: Any inconvenience is nothing compared with what has happened here and what other people are dealing with.

Thanks to all the people who have sent messages of concern – so many I can’t respond as communication here is all but impossible.