Nepal | September 24, 2019

Four more die on Everest, season’s death toll hits 19

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 24

At least four more climbers died on Mt Everest while a Sherpa climber breathed his last on Mt Makalu in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 19 on different mountains above 8,000 metres in the spring climbing season, according to expedition officials.

“Two climbers have died above the high camp on Mt Everest on the Tibetan side while an Indian climber and a national mountain guide breathed their last at the high camps on the southern route of the world’s highest peak in the last 24 hours,” expedition officials confirmed.

Officials said a renowned national mountain guide Dhurba Bista from Kailali breathed his last at the base camp of Mt Everest this afternoon after he was evacuated from Camp III. Bista was part of an expedition run by Himalayan Ski Trek. “Bista, who fell ill at Camp III, breathed his last after he was airlifted to the base camp.”

According to the officials at the advanced base camp in Tibet, Kevin Hynes from Galway, Ireland, died while attempting to scale Mt Everest as strong winds affected the world climbers this morning.

The 56-year-old climber, who had scaled Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse last year from Nepal side, breathed his last at 7,000 metres on the North Col, officials said, adding that he was part of the 360 Expedition.

Mt Everest has already recorded at least nine deaths this season. In the last spring season, the world’s highest mountain had recorded six deaths.

Chairman of Seven Summit Treks Mingma Sherpa said Nima Tenji Sherpa from Sankhuwasabha died above Camp II on Mt Makalu this afternoon while returning from the summit point.

Subash Shrestha, an official at Himalaya Vision Treks, said Ing Landgraf (Ernst) from Austria breathed his last at Second Step on Mt Everest yesterday afternoon while he was returning from the summit point. The 65-year-old climber was a part of an expedition run by Kobler & Partner from the Tibetan side.

Managing Director at Peak Promotion Pvt Ltd Babu Sherpa said Nihal Bagwan from Maharashtra, India, breathed his last at Camp IV on Mt Everest in Nepal side after he was rescued by a group of Sherpa climbers from the balcony area. “The 27-year-old climber died at Camp IV after he fell ill near balcony area while returning from the summit of Mt Everest,” said Sherpa, adding that Bagwan was the leader of a two-member expedition.

With the latest fatalities on Everest and Makalu, the death toll on mountains above 8,000 metres has reached 19 in the spring climbing season, according to expedition officials.

“At least eight Indian climbers are among 19 who have died,” the officials added.

Indian climber Kalpana Das, 49, who was a member of Three Women Expedition, breathed her last near the balcony area while descending from the summit of Mt Everest yesterday, said Gyanendra Shrestha, a liaison officer at the Everest base camp, adding that Anjali S Kulkarni, 54, from Mumbai, breathed her last above Camp IV on Wednesday night. Ravi Thakar from India breathed his last at Camp IV while returning from the Everest summit last week.

Indian climbers — Biplab Baidya, 48, and Kuntal Karar, 46, from West Bengal — breathed their last above Camp IV on Mt Kanchenjunga after they were unable to continue their descent from near the summit due at least in part to altitude ailments, hypothermia and snow blindness on May 16. Indian army team member Narayan Singh and Dipankar Ghos from Kolkata, died while returning from the summit of Mt Makalu last week, according to the Department of Tourism.

According to expedition organisers, Donald Lynn Cash from Utah, US, breathed his last a few metres below Hillary Step while returning from the summit of Mt Everest, while Sean Lawless, 39, an assistant professor in artificial intelligence at School of Computer Science and Statistics of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, went missing from the Everest death zone over a week ago.

Renowned Peruvian climber Richard Hidalgo was found dead on Mt Makalu two weeks ago, an official at the Department of Tourism said, adding that alpinist Rodrigo Vivanco from Chile, who attempted to climb Mt Kanchenjung without a Sherpa guide, had gone missing above Camp IV on May 16.

Bulgarian climber Evan Yuriev Tomov, who scaled Mt Lhotse without using oxygen and Sherpa support, died while descending the mountain on May 17, while Malaysian climber Wui Kin Chin breathed his last in Singapore after he was exposed to sub-zero temperature for nearly two days in the death zone on Mt Annapurna last month. Phujung Bhote Sherpa of Makalu, Sankhuwasabha, slipped into crevasse and died near Camp II of Mt Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth highest mountain in Tibet, on April 29, officials added.

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A version of this article appears in print on May 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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