A Tyrone man who was stranded at the base of Mount Everest after the Nepal earthquake hit is not coming home today as expected.
Instead, 43-year-old Rob Smith is going to stay behind and help in the aftermath of the disaster.
His mother Dorothy contacted the Mail to say she finally spoke to Rob today and that “he is still at base camp, helping”.
She said she doesn’t know how long he will remain in the country.
Rob, who has family in both Coagh and Sion Mills, was at the bottom of the world’s highest mountain when the earthquake caused a massive avalanche that killed five Sherpas and put a further eight people in hospital.
Luckily he escaped injury.
Rob was working as a guide, taking a team up Everest - they were stranded at camp one when the avalanche hit - Rob’s mother Dorothy
The professional mountain guide was taking a team up the mountain when the 7.8 magnitude quake, that has claimed over 5,000 lives, hit.
They had to be evacuated by helicopter as there was no other way down.
Speaking about Rob’s ordeal, his mother Dorothy said: “Rob was working as a guide, taking a team up Everest - they were stranded at camp one when the avalanche hit.
“There were five Sherpas killed and eight people were taken to hospital.
“There was no way down so on Monday they were evacuated by helicopter,” she said.
“There was no other way they could get back down to base camp. He had six people with him.”
She went on to say that when her son got to base camp with his group - that it too had been destroyed.
A guide since 2000, Rob works for New Zealand company the Adventure Group, spending his summers in the Antarctic and leading mountain teams in the winter.
He was in the process of helping his team to acclimatise for their climb on Everest over a period of ten weeks.
This was his third expedition on the mountain.