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The State

The only American survivor of a California group caught in avalanches while scaling a Himalayan peak left behind the bodies of her fiance, a climbing partner and a Sherpa guide. The three were swept from 23,727-foot Mt. Langtang Lirung on Oct. 18, Mary Elizabeth Leung, 24, of Sacramento, said. “We saw from base camp one body hit the rock,” Leung told the Associated Press in Katmandu, Nepal. “But we could not do anything. Avalanches were sweeping the mountain. It was too dangerous for us to go there . . . .” The Sacramento Alpine Club Expedition was ascending when the avalanche occurred, said Leung, a medical receptionist. Her fiance, Daniel M. Newell, 35, expedition leader; Jan Elliot Spake, 27, and Gyaltzen Sherpa, 32, perished. “It was raining . . . lots of ice on rock,” Leung said. “So we tried to call them . . . asking them to go back to the tent and wait there for better weather. But we were not successful in doing that. . . .”


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