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Canadian climber Sandra Leduc gives an insider look at the dangers of Mount Everest

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Dalia Ibrahim
Digital Reporter

Friday, April 18, 2014, 9:39 -

An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving four missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak

While details from the horrific ordeal continue to unfold, The Weather Network had the opportunity to speak with Canadian climber Sandra Leduc, who recounted a chilling description of her own perilous journey, just two years ago.


AVALANCHE CONTROL IN THE WEST: Reducing the risks of the unpredictable slides


CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN: "I saw someone who looked completely frozen"

Leduc began to summit the southern route up Everest by leaving the last camp on the evening of May 19, 2012 --the same day fellow Canadian climber of Toronto and three others died during their descent. 

It took five days for Leduc to reach the top of the tallest mountain in the world, and at the time told reporters that summiting Everest was not only the hardest climb, but the worst night of her life. 

In the clip below, Leduc describes the hardships one faces while attempting the 8850-metre climb.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN: "Your body is dying at a very rapid rate. You can't afford to make any mistakes."

While safety supplies and proper equipment are of the utmost importance on a climb, Leduc says monitoring the summit weather forecast can be lifesaving. 


SEE ALSO: Avalanche briefly traps six ice climbers west of Calgary


CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN: "You have to weigh the weather in terms of the temperature"

Friday's avalanche marks Mount Everest's deadliest disaster in history, claiming the lives of at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three missing. 

Hundreds of climbers, their guides and support crews have gathered at the base camp to prepare for attempts to scale the 8,850-metremountain early next month when weather conditions become favourable. 

They have been setting up camps at higher altitudes and guides have been fixing routes and ropes on the slopes above. 

Leduc says an avalanche of this magnititude can be a "major blow to the climbing community", especially this early in the season. 

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN: "There's an element of shock...it's so early in the season to have this many fatalities at once"

To learn more about Sandra Leduc's heroic journey, see her Mount Everest blog, here.

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