A woman’s intuition for survival

When a deadly earthquake hit Nepal in April, there were two Central Albertans on location, one attempting to climb Mount Everest, the other in a nearby village, they both had very different perspectives of this disaster. This is the second part of a two-part series on their experiences.

When a deadly earthquake hit Nepal in April, there were two Central Albertans on location, one attempting to climb Mount Everest, the other in a nearby village, they both had very different perspectives of this disaster. This is the second part of a two-part series on their experiences.

A sore leg diverted Beverly Williams from what likely would have been a deadly trek in Nepal a few days before the 7.8- magnitude earthquake struck that country on April 25.

Reflecting on her trip and the earthquake that killed more than 9,000 people and injured 23,000, the Red Deer business woman believed there was something else that stopped her in her tracks and kept both her and her guide safe.

“You know that kind of intuition thing that happens, it kind of says you can’t go any further. It was really, really, really weird,” said Williams who blinked back tears.

Williams and Har, the guide she hired, were early into a hike at Langtang National Park when a pulled leg muscle and apprehension eventually put an end to her trek.

“I sat on the rock and looked at Har and said I can’t go any further. It’s just not possible. He said, ‘Are you sure. Once you get up here it’s straight and it’s really good.’ But it was that intuition. Here I’m crying again. I haven’t cried for months,” said Williams as memories flooded back.

They turned back for a slow walk to a nearby town where they stayed a couple nights. When the earthquake struck, they were on the bus returning to Kathmadu.

She said if they had continued on their hike, the pair would have reached their destination, the town of Langtang which was devastated by the earthquake.

“The whole mountain came down, came on top of Langtang. I’d be under 350 feet of rubble.”

Williams was glad she listened to her intuition.

“You know how you don’t lots of times. But I ended up listening that time, and that’s what happened.”

Her luck continued on the bus when the earthquake hit. The bus rocked violently from side to side and dust filled the air, but everyone with her was safe amid the landslides, she said.

“There was a bunch of yelling. Then everyone got off the bus and there was kind of calm because we were fine there.”

Passengers on a bus a few kilometres ahead of hers was split in half by a boulder, killing three people.

After walking about six hours to a small village, Williams and Har spent the night in a local family’s cafe, periodically running outside when they felt aftershocks. Eventually they stayed outdoors.

She said she can’t forget hearing a man in the village wail upon finding his wife who died beneath rubble from the quake.

“I still can sort of hear that horrible scream.”

Amid the sadness, Williams said she also experienced how tragedy brings people closer together.

“(The cafe owner) said to me ‘You know what, now we have seven people in our family.’ He said ‘Me, my wife, my son, my two girls and you and your guide.’ He said we were ‘part of his family.’”

So Williams came back to Red Deer with both happy and sad stories.

When she got back to Kathmadu, she stayed in a Red Cross tent in a school yard for two nights. When it was too windy, she slept in the school. But aftershocks continued.

“There were quite a few tremors. Even with this hurt leg, I could get up pretty fast, and get out the door.”

Williams was a seasoned traveller, but it was her first visit to Nepal where she was going to buy stock for her business Woollen Wonders.

She arrived April 17 for three weeks and decided to stay until she was scheduled to leave.

Without knowing the language, she couldn’t be much help during recovery efforts, she said.

“I did offer to stay and help and do something, but it didn’t work out.”

Williams decided to go on a trip she prebooked to Chitwan National Park, away from mountains. She went on to the city of Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu and back to Canada.

Shortly after Williams got back to Red Deer, her daughter told her about a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on May 12.

“Later on that day, a truck went by my house and shook my house. I just started bawling. It didn’t affect when she was telling me, but the house shook. Didn’t need that,” Williams said.

During the summer, Williams collected money to help Har and was selling items at her booth at Parkland Mall over Christmas to continue to fundraise for her friend.

“He was so good and kind. Always making sure I was okay. He was just fabulous to me.”

Williams plans to return to Nepal in the spring.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Traffic will be delayed on 40th Avenue and 19th Street until the end of February. (Advocate file photo).
Traffic delays expected downtown this weekend

Red Deer drivers will be delayed in the downtown area of the… Continue reading

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Friday, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the province’s plan to reduce surgical wait times over the next two years. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Alberta provides more funding to reduce surgery wait times

The province is working to provide better access to surgeries over the… Continue reading

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

FILE - In this May 3, 2020 file photo, Veneuzuelan security forces guard the shore and a boat in which authorities claim a group of armed men landed in the port city of La Guaira, Venezuela, calling it an armed maritime incursion from neighboring Colombia. Yacsy vÅlvarez, a woman who was charged in Colombia with helping organize the attempted armed invasion to overthrow Venezuela‚Äôs socialist government, says Colombian authorities were aware of the plotters‚Äô movements and did nothing to stop them and that she‚Äôs being made a scapegoat for the sins of others who abandoned the would be rebels. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File)
3 Venezuelans plead guilty for aiding anti-Maduro plot

3 Venezuelans plead guilty for aiding anti-Maduro plot

Anti-coup protesters maintain their position behind a barricade despite smoke from tear gas in San Chaung township in Yangon, Myanmar Friday, Mar. 5, 2021. Demonstrators defy growing violence by security forces and stage more anti-coup protests ahead of a special U.N. Security Council meeting on the country’s political crisis. (AP Photo)
Protesters defy Myanmar security forces as UN action urged

Protesters defy Myanmar security forces as UN action urged

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital, Wednesday, March 3, 2021 in Bay Shore, N.Y. Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a division of Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Lennihan
Provinces revise vaccination timelines as Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine approved

Provinces revise vaccination timelines as Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine approved

FILE - In this June 11, 2016 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II waves as she watches the flypast, with Prince Philip, to right, Prince William, centre, with his son Prince George, front, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge holding Princess Charlotte, centre left, with The Prince of Wales standing with The Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess Anne, fourth left, on the balcony during the Trooping The Colour parade at Buckingham Palace, in London. The timing couldn’t be worse for Harry and Meghan. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will finally get the chance to tell the story behind their departure from royal duties directly to the public on Sunday, March 7, 2021 when their two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)
No winners: UK waits for Harry, Meghan’s take on royal split

No winners: UK waits for Harry, Meghan’s take on royal split

Animated character Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, left, appears with Sisu the dragon in a scene from "Raya and the Last Dragon." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Disney+ via AP
Canadian animator on adding cultural authenticity to ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

Canadian animator on adding cultural authenticity to ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’

Members of the National Guard, Philip Fane, center, and Megan Puckett, right, help a motorist register at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. More than 27 million Americans fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will have to keep waiting for guidance from U.S. health officials for what they should and shouldn't do. The Biden administration said Friday it's focused on getting the guidance right and accommodating emerging science. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
California to let Major League Baseball, Disneyland reopen

California to let Major League Baseball, Disneyland reopen

Visitors wearing face masks leave the Alamo, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in San Antonio. Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is lifting a mask mandate and lifting business capacity limits next week. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Study finds mask mandates, dining out influence virus spread

Study finds mask mandates, dining out influence virus spread

Most Read