Adventure Club brings hears harrowing story from Mount Everest survivor

More than 60 students gathered in the Alumni Board Room on Tuesday night to hear speaker Clayton Cravino tell about his experience at Mount Everest when the earthquake struck Nepal in April 2015.

Cravino and his brother were hiking up to Everest’s first base camp when the catastrophic event took place. The 8.0 earthquake shook the ground in an unexplainable way, according to Cravino, and caused immense damage to Nepal and many mountain camps. The quake set off a series of avalanches that swept through the base camp, destroying all that was there and claiming the lives of many.

Cravino recalled that he was late to start his hike the day of the disaster, and was just minutes from arriving at the base camp when the earthquake struck. Seconds after, an avalanche thundered down behind Cravino and his group, capturing them in a whirlwind of snow.

They made it out of the avalanche uninjured, and Cravino credits his survival to God. The trip, which initially was meant to be a brotherly bonding time, turned out to be more than that. It allowed Cravino to examine his faith more closely and see how God was working in his life.

His story was meant to be an inspiration for faith and adventure, and he expressed that he was open for discussion and any questions after his talk.

“I thought it was very cool that [he] was a very normal guy,” said sophomore Rachel DeHaan. “He wasn’t any sort of mountain climber, and he didn’t even have that much experience. And that he went to go do something like that, I think that was very inspiring.”

The event was hosted by Calvin’s Adventure Club, and they invited all students to attend for a time of listening, discussion, a raffle and snacks.

The Calvin Adventure Club has a relatively young history, becoming an official club just last year, and kicked off with its first meeting this year in mid-November. The goal of the club is to offer education, leadership, community and wilderness adventure opportunities to students, according to the club’s president, Marc Poole.

The also club supports students who desire to organize and participate in an adventure trip over spring break with their funding mechanism, the adventure grant. Such trips include backpacking and camping to places such as Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon.

“Calvin’s adventure grant offers students an opportunity to go out and have an adventure with friends, learn leadership, practice back-country skills and have leisure,” said Poole. “Taking ownership in planning all of this and executing an adventure like this teaches a lot and matures students, as well as giving them a meaningful experience.”

The club strives to get all students who are interested in outdoor recreation involved and wants to get input from its members to make the club’s events applicable to their situations and appeal to their interests. Those who are interested in the club can stop by the Rock Climbing Center to get more information on how to apply for an adventure grant or join the club.