Southern California

SoCal Filmmaker Killed in Everest Avalanche “Died Doing What He Loved”: Wife

Three Americans — including filmmaker Tom Taplin — were among 17 people killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest

The grieving wife of a Southern California filmmaker who was killed in a Mount Everest avalanche triggered by the massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal says her husband lost his life while "doing what he loved."

Southern California-based filmmaker Tom Taplin was making a documentary about the Mount Everest base camp when the avalanche hit, his wife Cory Freyer said Sunday. Her husband had worked on the documentary for years and now was finally making it, she said.

Taplin, 61, was among 17 people whose lives were taken on the mountain.

Taplin's guide called Freyer at her Santa Monica home to notify her that her husband had been killed as a result of the quake Saturday, NBC News reported.

"It's devastating to know he's not coming back," Freyer told NBC4.

One of the last texts Taplin sent his wife read: "It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen."

The couple shared a love of mountain climbing and the outdoors.

"The first thing we did about a year after we met was to go trekking to the Khumbu, to the Everest region, together," she said. "Here we are back to Everest."

The couple was married for three years, but had been together for more than 24 years prior to exchanging vows.

Taplin was a passionate photographer, filmmaker and mountaineer. He wrote a book about his experiences climbing South America's tallest peak, Aconagua, in the 1990s.

"He died in a place where he loved being," Freyer said.

"His spirit will always be with me. It's the best that I can do for now," she added.

Taplin was one of three Americans killed in Saturday's earthquake-triggered avalanche.

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