A major avalanche has swept the western slopes of Mount Everest injuring at least one Sherpa guide and panicked hundreds of climbers trying to reach the world’s highest peak.

The avalanche came as the hundreds of mountaineers were preparing to climb Everest’s slopes after weeks of acclimatizing at base camp.

Tilak Pandey of Nepal’s Mountaineering Department said Saturday that the avalanche swept the slopes late in the previous afternoon near the Camp 1 area, about 6,100 meters (20,000 feet) altitude.

One Nepali Sherpa guide was hit by the avalanche and was brought to a hospital in the capital, Katmandu.

Climbers attempt to reach the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit during mid-May when weather gets favorable.

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