A solicitor and his partner trekking to Mount Everest during the Nepal earthquake are ‘safe and well’, his firm has confirmed.

Devon firm Kitsons yesterday reported on its website that it had made brief contact with partner Tony Hunt (pictured) and Natalie Jenkins after Saturday’s earthquake, which is feared to have killed several thousand people. 

The earthquake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, caused avalanches that are thought to have killed 18 people on Everest, making it the worst disaster in history on the peak.

Hunt and Jenkins began the challenge on 16 April to reach base camp at 5,354m above sea level in aid of the Chestnut Appeal, a Plymouth charity raising funds and awareness for prostrate cancer patients.

The Kitsons statement said: ‘Kitsons partner Tony Hunt has made brief contact with us this morning to reassure everyone that both he and Natalie Jenkins are safe and well following the huge earthquake which hit Nepal on Saturday.

‘The pair are making their way up to the Mount Everest base camp, via the Nepal side, and their current location is a day or so away from Lukla. They have no idea of return plans yet.’

Hunt, a partner in the firm’s family law department, joined in 2010. He previously worked at Devon firms Whiteford Crocker and Wolferstans.

So far his mission has raised more than £1,700. Donations can made here.

The confirmed death toll from the disaster was around 4,500 by Tuesday afternoon, but experts believe this could rise to 10,000.