VIDEO: Mom reacts upon learning missing son OK after Nepal quake

Byby Sergio Quintana via KGO logo
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
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A Petaluma family says they've finally gotten in contact with their 21-year-old son who was on Mount Everest when the massive quake hit Nepal.

PETALUMA, Calif. -- A Petaluma, Calif., family says they've finally gotten in contact with their 21-year-old son who was on Mount Everest when the massive quake hit Nepal.

Spencer Dickinson, 21, had been on a trek across Asia and last communicated with his mother via Skype last week. That had been the last time the family heard from him since the massive earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday. The family knew that he was on his way up Mount Everest before the quake hit.

They launched a social media campaign in the hopes of connecting with anyone who may have seen Spencer. Then, on Tuesday, they got good news. His father, Bob Dickinson, tells ABC7 News that he heard from Spencer at about 8 p.m. by satellite phone. The 21-year-old is on Everest and will be transported by helicopter to Kathmandu. Spencer told his father that crews have been busy taking bodies off the mountain.

It was also announced on Tuesday that Sunnyvale resident Vinh Truong died in a quake-triggered avalanche on Mount Everest. Michelle Fennessy, a friend of Truong's from college, says he was an outdoorsman who enjoyed river rafting and paragliding. But most of all, she says he was an avid hiker who dreamed of trekking the Himalayas.

"I'm almost envisioning him getting up on that mountain at base camp at awe of himself that he actually made it," said Fennessy.

PHOTOS: Inside the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake

Many of the people from the Bay Area who were affected by the Nepal earthquake were trying to scale Mount Everest. The enormous avalanche that was triggered by the quake is what killed four Americans and more than a dozen others.

Susan Reiter, the wife of one of the men who survived, is happy he's finally off the mountain.

READ MORE: How you can help Nepal quake victims

"The Wi-Fi was working, he was calling me on Skype, and finally we got to have a good long conversation where we could hear each other, and he's so happy to be coming home," she said.

VIDEO: Bay Area residents return home after Nepal quake

Jon Reiter had been in communication with his family almost immediately after the earthquake and avalanche with a sat phone. He stayed at the base camp on Mount Everest for a little while to help get the inured out and to help with the casualties.

VIDEO: San Leandro nonprofit provides medical items for quake victims

"There's a lot of dead people," said his mother, Carol Reiter. "And he said, 'I just put a fellow climber in his sleeping bag and zipped it up.'"

The family says Jon flew by helicopter from the base camps to Katmandu and got to see a lot of the damage to the country along the way. Susan hopes the homes of the sherpas who have helped on Jon's expeditions over the years have survived this terrible disaster.

Click here to find out how you can help the victims in Nepal, and click here for full coverage on the devastating quake.