Ex-Chipping Norton mayor avoids Everest avalanche

Jan Meek

Jan Meek

First published in News

FORMER Chipping Norton mayor Jan Meek has texted her husband to reassure him she was not caught up in the avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 13 guides.

Mrs Meek, 69, had just completed an 18-day trip to Mount Everest base camp when the disaster happened on Good Friday morning.

Her husband, Peter Walker, said he had received two text messages and a short phone call from her to say she was all right. He said the scene of the avalanche was about a four-hour hike up the mountain from base camp and his wife could have been caught up if she had been part of a team heading to the top.

He said: “It was really rather emotional as so many of the guides that had taken her group up were from the same villages or related to them.”

Mrs Meek also told her husband she had seen the emergency helicopters come and take the victims’ bodies away. She wrote: “Very sobering. It could have been us, we left base camp as it started to snow.”

The former mayor, who now lives in Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex, had arrived back in Kathmandu on Saturday morning and is due to return to the UK tomorrow.

Mrs Meek served on Chipping Norton Town Council in the 1980s and 1990s and was also the chairwoman of the town’s chamber of commerce.

The trip to Everest was part of her preparation for a trek to the South Pole in December 2015.

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