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Wounded Warrior's Everest Summit Attempt on Hold

With the mountain virtually shut down, one local Marine's feat to climb Mount Everest, may be cut short

By Vanessa Herrera and R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014  |  Updated 1:34 PM PDT
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Sherpas, the native guides on Mount Everest, have decided to leave the mountain after 13 people were killed in an avalanche. That means a San Diego Marine’s mission to conquer Everest may be put on hold. NBC 7’s Vanessa Herrera explains why his climb is especially significant.

Sherpas, the native guides on Mount Everest, have decided to leave the mountain after 13 people were killed in an avalanche. That means a San Diego Marine’s mission to conquer Everest may be put on hold. NBC 7’s Vanessa Herrera explains why his climb is especially significant.

A San Diego-based wounded warrior’s attempt to scale Mount Everest is in jeopardy after the mountain’s deadliest disaster threatens to end to this year’s climbing season.

The San Diego-based Marine hopes to summit the world’s highest peak despite losing a leg in Afghanistan three years ago.

SSgt Charles Linnville was at the base camp on Everest Wednesday in preparation for a summit.

At the same time, there has been an unofficial walkout of Sherpas, the mountain guides who are necessary for a summit attempt.

On April 18, an avalanche killed 13 people. Three Sherpas were still missing in the ice and snow, and are presumed dead.

The disaster has brought issues over pay, treatment and benefits for the mountain guides to the surface and has spawned a work stoppage.

On Thursday, Nepal’s top tourism officials were expected to fly to base camp to negotiate with the Sherpas and encourage them to return to work.

It was unclear how many of the 400 or so Sherpas on the mountain had joined the walkout.

The uncertainty of the climbing season has put plans on hold for Linville's hiking group “Heroes Project.”

A spokesperson for the project says the recovery efforts are the first priority before completing the hike.

Whether the group will have to turn back is not clear at this point.

A retired staff sergeant who has hiked with the organization said the deadly avalanche is a reminder of the uncertainties.

"It was a horrible loss that just occured with the families that were killed in that avalanche and that's a very sombering reminder,” Mark Zambon told NBC 7 Tuesday.

Those planning to climb Mount Everest this year may have to delay the climb for at least another year.

Most attempts to reach Everest's summit are made in mid-May, when a brief window normally offers better weather.

Without the help of the Sherpas, it would be nearly impossible for climbers to scale the mountain.

Many climbers will have to forfeit most or all of the money they have spent to go up the mountain -- $75,000 or more.

Zambon said that would be another year of training and preparation under Linville's belt.
 

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