In this May 18, 2013 photo released by mountain guide Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow Expeditions, climbers navigate the knife-edge ridge just below the Hillary Step on their way to the summit of Mount Everest, in the Khumbu region of the Nepal Himalayas. Guy Cotter was so concerned about the safety of Sherpa guides and porters through Mount Everest’s notorious Khumbu Icefall that he and another commercial guide operator hatched a plan: Before this year’s climbing season began, they would use helicopters to transport four tons of equipment above the icefall. Nepal-based Simrik Air backed the plan and hired New Zealand pilot Jason Laing, an expert in hauling loads using long cables. But in January, the answer came back from Nepalese authorities: permit denied. Three months later, Laing put his expertise to use. But not hauling gear. On April 18 came Everest’s worst disaster, in which 16 Sherpas were killed in an avalanche at the icefall. Laing made flight after flight that day, using his long cables to rescue four injured Sherpas and haul out 13 bodies. (AP Photo/Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian Ballinger) MANDATORY CREDIT, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Photo by: Adrian Ballinger

In this May 18, 2013 photo released by mountain guide Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow Expeditions, climbers navigate the knife-edge ridge just below the Hillary Step on their way to the summit of Mount Everest, in the Khumbu region of the Nepal Himalayas. Guy Cotter was so concerned about the safety of Sherpa guides and porters through Mount Everest’s notorious Khumbu Icefall that he and another commercial guide operator hatched a plan: Before this year’s climbing season began, they would use helicopters to transport four tons of equipment above the icefall. Nepal-based Simrik Air backed the plan and hired New Zealand pilot Jason Laing, an expert in hauling loads using long cables. But in January, the answer came back from Nepalese authorities: permit denied. Three months later, Laing put his expertise to use. But not hauling gear. On April 18 came Everest’s worst disaster, in which 16 Sherpas were killed in an avalanche at the icefall. Laing made flight after flight that day, using his long cables to rescue four injured Sherpas and haul out 13 bodies. (AP Photo/Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian Ballinger) MANDATORY CREDIT, EDITORIAL USE ONLY