Palos Hills man rescued from Himalayas days after Nepal quake

PALOS HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- Corey Ascolani, 34, of Palos Hills, was hiking in the Himalayas when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. He and 26 others were trapped on the mountain for five days.

Ascolani and a friend had stopped for coffee and were drawing up plans for the rest of their trek when the earth started shaking.



"Right when the coffee got served, the grounds started moving. It didn't just move a little bit. It started rolling moving, up and down, side to side," Ascolani said. "You could see lots of rocks falling in our direction. And people started turning tables over and hiding underneath tables. These rocks were coming down. It was a complete landslide."

PHOTOS: Corey Ascolani


Ascolani and others took shelter behind two huge rocks that formed a cave, he said. When it was over, the trails were blocked and they were trapped. The group of international travelers used a satellite phone to send messages to several embassies for help.

"The Americans rescued us, which was quite lucky because they took the whole group, which we were concerned about," he said.

Ascolani also used the satellite phone to reach his family in the suburbs.

"We didn't know anything for the first 48 hours or more. We didn't know where he was. We had to do a timeline to figure out exactly where he could be," brother Damon Ascolani said.

Ascolani will spend a few days at the US Embassy in Kathmandu before deciding his next step. His family in the southwest suburbs was relieved to hear his voice and see the video.
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