SEATTLE -

A Seattle-based guiding service says five Nepalese guides on its climbing team are among those who died in an avalanche on Mount Everest.

The avalanche swept down a climbing route on the world's highest peak early Friday, killing at least 12 Sherpa guides and leaving four missing. Several more were injured.

Alpine Ascents International's Gordon Janow said Friday from Seattle that the company's Sherpa guides had gone up the mountain to help set up camp and check out conditions for other climbers. He learned of their deaths from others at base camp.

He says it's a tight-knit climbing community and they're still processing the tragedy.

Eleven climbers and other guides with Alpine Ascents were safe at base camp when the avalanche hit.