Everest death toll reaches 10 – ‘insane’ ‘traffic jams’

 

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The scene at the summit of Mount Everest on Tuesday. Photograph: Nirmal Purja/AFP/Getty Images

 

British, Irish Climbers Die On Mount Everest, Toll Reaches 10

British climber Robin Fisher, 44, reached the summit Saturday morning but collapsed when he had got just 150 metres back down the slope.  Updated: May 25, 2019 14:11 IST

25 May 2019 |

KATHMANDU: 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. 4 climbers from India and 1 each from US, Austria, Nepal died earlier
  2. An Irish mountaineer missing is presumed dead after he slipped
  3. Nepal issued a record 381 permits for climbers this season

The deaths of an Irish and a British climber on Mount Everest took the toll from a deadly week on the world’s highest peak to 10, expedition organisers said Saturday.

British climber Robin Fisher, 44, reached the summit Saturday morning but collapsed when he had got just 150 metres back down the slope.

“Our guides tried to help but he died soon after,” Murari Sharma of Everest Parivar Expedition told news agency AFP.

On the northern Tibet side of the mountain, a 56-year-old Irish man died Friday morning, his expedition organisers confirmed in a statement on their Facebook page.

The man decided to return without reaching the summit but died in his tent at the North Col pass at 7,000 metres (22,965 feet).

Three Indian climbers and one Nepali guide died on Mount Everest in the past couple of days, taking to seven the total number killed or missing on the world’s highest mountain in this year’s climbing season, Nepali officials said on Friday.

 

Four climbers from India and one each from the United States, Austria and Nepal have already died on Everest in the past week. Another Irish mountaineer is missing presumed dead after he slipped and fell close to the summit.

A traffic jam of climbers in the Everest “death zone” has been blamed for at least four of the deaths, heightening concerns that the drive for profits is trumping safety.

Nepal issued a record 381 permits for mainly foreign climbers, costing $11,000 each, for the spring climbing season.

Each climber with a permit is assisted by at least one sherpa, adding to the summit logjam.

With the short window of suitable weather due to close soon, bottlenecks of scores of climbers wanting to achieve the ultimate mountaineering accolade have built up each day.

An estimated 600 people had reached the summit via the Nepal side by Friday, a government official said, based on information from expedition organisers.

At least 140 others have been granted permits to scale Everest from the northern flank in Tibet, according to operators. This could take the total past last year’s record of 807 people reaching the summit.

Many Himalayan mountains — including Everest — are at peak climbing season, with the good weather between late April and the end of May.

COMMENT

Eight other climbers have died on other 8,000-metre-plus Himalayan peaks this season, while two are missing.


Human traffic jam atop Mount Everest’s “death zone”

CBS News Last Updated May 24, 2019 7:39 PM EDT

 

Two more climbers died Friday on Mount Everest, becoming the eighth and ninth people to die there since last week. That’s more than all of last year.

The deaths come amid massive crowding near the summit of the world’s highest peak.

It’s a human traffic jam at the top of Mount Everest as hundreds of climbers wait hours for their chance to stand at the top of the world. Lukas Furtenbach reached the summit Thursday, he’s still climbing down.

“It was very crowded,” Furtenbach said. “We are here every year and I’ve never seen such a year. We lost about three hours waiting at the most difficult part of the rock.”

Climbers call the area above 26,000 feet the “death zone,” because the air is so thin. Most need supplemental oxygen.

“And that’s very dangerous if you run out of oxygen, you can die within a couple of hours,” Furtenbach said.

So far this season, at least nine climbers have died on everest, more than all of last year. Almost all died coming down from the traffic jam at the summit.

Experienced Everest climbers said it’s particularly busy this year, because weather conditions provided only five days where the skies were clear enough to summit.

“Everybody is sharing weather forecasts,” said Alan Arnette.  “And in the end everybody goes for the summit at the same time.”

Arnette climbed everest in 2011 and he now chronicles climbers on his blog

“The human body was not designed to survive above 26,000 feet,” Arnette said. “You are just getting weaker my the minute. So in that respect the crowds are certainly a contributing factor to these deaths.”

Most of the bodies will remain on Mount Everest — a solemn reminder to future climbers.

24 May 2019 | Julia Hollingsworth | CNN

(CNN)  Two mountaineers have died on Mount Everest after crowds of people became stuck in a queue leading to the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

Indian climber Anjali Kulkarni, 55, died on her way back from climbing to the summit of Mount Everest on Wednesday, her son Shantanu Kulkarni told CNN. She had become stuck in the “traffic jam” above camp four, which, at 8,000 meters (26,247 feet), is the final camp before the summit.
American mountaineer Donald Lynn Cash, 55, also died Wednesday after fainting from high altitude sickness while descending from the summit, according to the Nepalese expedition company Pioneer Adventure Pvt. Ltd.
Climber Nirmal Purja posted a picture on Instagram of the heavy human traffic on the mountain Wednesday, showing a dense trail of climbers huddling on an exposed ridge to the summit. He added that there were roughly 320 people in the queue to the top of the mountainin an area known as the “death zone.”
Danduraj Ghimire, director general of Nepal’s Tourism Department, rejected suggestions that the jam of climbers contributed to the deaths, calling such claims “baseless.”

At least four more die on Everest amid overcrowding concerns

Latest deaths, including an Irish climber, come as others report ‘insane’ delays at the peak

The summit of Mount Everest has an elevation of 8,848 meters (29,029 feet). At that level, each breath contains only one-third of the oxygen found at sea level. The human body is also rapidly deteriorating at that altitude, meaning most people can spend only a matter of minutes at the top,without extra oxygen supplies, before it becomes intolerable.
“The weather has not been very great this climbing season, so when there is a small window when the weather clears up, climbers make the move,” Ghimire said. “On May 22, after several days of bad weather, there was a small window of clear weather, when more than 200 mountaineers ascended Everest. The main cause of deaths on Everest has been high altitude sickness which is what happened with most of the climbers who lost their lives this season as well.”
Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 8.02.14 AM

 

According to Shantanu Kulkarni, his mother had trekked for over 25 years and had trained to climb Mount Everest for the past six. She had completed a number of major treks, including Mount Elbrus in southern Russia and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and was also an avid marathoner.
Anjali Kulkarni had owned an advertising agency with her husband, but they both retired to “pursue their dream of standing atop Mount Everest,” Shantanu said.
Cash, a grandfather from Utah, collapsed near a portion of the trail which had an altitude of about 8,770 meters (28,700 feet), according to Pioneer Adventure.
“Our team did their best to save his life,” the company noted, adding that Sherpa guides had attempted to keep him alive while pulling him down the mountain. “Despite their best efforts in providing the best guidance, sufficient oxygen supplies and medical support they could not save his life.”

Donald Cash

His children told CNN affiliate KSL-TV that he had died after achieving his goal of summiting the highest mountain on every continent.
“The last message he sent to me, he said ‘I feel so blessed to be on the mountain that I read about for the last 40 years,'” his son Tanner Cash told KSL. His body will likely remain on Everest.
More than 200 mountaineers have died on the peak since 1922, when the first climbers’ deaths on Everest were recorded. The majority of bodies are believed to have remained buried under glaciers or snow.

Original Link: Everest traffic jam creates lethal conditions for climbers

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