Nightly News   |  April 20, 2014

Prayer Vigils Held for Those Lost on Mt. Everest

The victims of a deadly avalanche are remembered, while authorities continue to try find the remaining missing.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> on mt. everest tonight, the search was called off for three missing guides after the deadliest avalanche there in recorded history. at least 13 guides were killed as they prepared for climbing season. we get the latest tonight on how this tragedy is affecting a little-known community of mountain guides from nbc's ron allen .

>> reporter: at a temple in new york , sherpas speak strength. her brother ben was killed on mt. everest 's deadliest day. what was going to be his last trip because of the danger well known to the family. her older brother died on everest 20 years ago. now she mourns again. did you always worry something like this would happen to him on the mountain?

>> yes.

>> reporter: you did?

>> yeah, i did.

>> reporter: a husband and father following tradition. sherpas, the local ethnic group and a common last name leading the way to the highest summit. a guide can earn $5,000 in the three-month season. otherwise $700 is a typical year's pay.

>> if i wasn't educated, i would be climbing. and maybe i would be one of those guides.

>> reporter: he says everybody in the sherpa community, about 5,000 in new york , knows someone who lost someone on the mountain.

>> we're losing too many young people in the mountains. at this rate, there'll be no one left in the village except old people.

>> reporter: with the search for survivors now ended, many sherpas want to stop the climbing season to respect the dead. an emotional and financial decision being debated with groups poised to make the climb.

>> the sherpa are going to carry most of the equipment and fix the ropes. it's not possible for anybody to climb the mountain without sherpa.

>> reporter: an nbc news team had been on everest working on a production for discovery channel . today discovery announced it was canceling the program. meanwhile in nepal today, prayers for those lost. and a mirror of those services in new york . a tiny community synonymous with the world's highest mountain now facing incredible grief. ron allen , new york .