Tough job for rescuers plucking climbers off Everest

Mount Everest south base camp

The Mount Everest south base camp in Nepal is seen a day after a huge earthquake-caused avalanche killed at least 17 people, in this photo courtesy of 6summitschallenge.com taken on April 26, 2015 and released on April 27, 2015.

6summitschallenge.com/Reuters

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- The powerful earthquake that jolted Nepal three days ago rattled the world's highest mountain, triggering deadly avalanches that left 18 people dead on Mount Everest's slopes.

CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports that, along with rescue teams from around the world, some of those left with serious injuries on Everest were seen arriving Tuesday at the small airport in Kathmandu, Nepal's devastated capital city.

Avalanche survivor describes scene on Mt. Everest

Stranded climbers on Everest have been airlifted to relative safety at the mountain's base camp, which is still almost 18,000 feet up the mountain.

Nick Cienski was leading a charity team climbing Everest. He offered a reporter-style look at base camp during the rescue, speaking into a camera to explain the trouble for rescue crews.

"Once they land here, many of these people have no camps, no tents, no nothing left. Everything's strewn all over the glacier. So the only thing they've got is what they land with in that helicopter, what's in their packs," Cienski said.

CBS News spoke with Jim Davidson, who is also at Everest base camp. He'd been rescued by helicopter after spending 48-hours higher up the mountain at Camp 1 on the route to the peak.

"We knew that we were going to have to stay there for a while because the icefall that we had just climbed through absolutely collapsed, taking all the rope and all the ladders with it, so we were sort of marooned up there," said Davidson.

As rescued climbers begin to reach internet connections, new video emerged showing base camp blanketed in snow and debris after Saturday's avalanche.

The State Department has said four Americans were killed on Everest, including Vinh Truong, Dan Fredinburg, a 33-year-old Google executive, and Marisa Eve Giarwong, a 28-year-old physician's assistant from New Jersey, and Tom Taplin, a 61-year-old filmmaker shooting a documentary on Everest.