April 20, 2014 12:41pm PT by Erik Hayden, The Associated Press
Discovery Cancels 'Everest Jump Live' After Avalanche Deaths
The Discovery Channel has canceled a planned live jump from Mt. Everest on May 11 due to a recent avalanche that claimed the lives of 13 people.
"In light of the overwhelming tragedy at Mt Everest and respect for the families of the fallen, Discovery Channel will not be going forward with Everest Jump Live. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Sherpa community," a statement from the channel read.
The live event program was scheduled to follow a jump from climber Joby Ogwyn, who was set to be equipped with cameras. The special was planned to be hosted by NBC's Today show co-host Willie Geist. In the lead-up to the planned airing at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT the channel had planned five nights of Everest-themed programming.
On Sunday, Nepal's authorities temporarily halted climbing on Mount Everest while search teams dug through snow and ice for three Sherpa guides missing in the deadliest avalanche on the world's highest peak that killed 13 others.
A section of the route over the dreaded Khumbu Icefall, a climbing pass where the avalanche swept a group of guides early Friday, has totally collapsed and a new trail has to be dug, ropes fixed and aluminum ladders laid over the crevasses before climbing can resume, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Discovery's Everest Jump Live would've been the latest in a series of daring live event programs that have proven to be ratings draws. The channel recently announced that it had teamed with daredevil Nik Wallenda for a follow-up to his Grand Canyon tightrope walk. Wallenda is set to cross the skyline of Chicago in a special titled Skyscraper Live With Nik Wallenda later this year.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.