IFMGA guide Damai Sarki Sherpa dies; Everest death toll reaches five

KATHMANDU: A renowned climbing guide died after falling into crevasse on Mt Everest last night, bringing the number of climbers killed on the mountain during the spring climbing season to five, base camp officials said.

According to Gyanendra Shrestha, the deceased has been identified as Damai Sarki Sherpa of Kharikhola village in Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality-1, of Solukhumbu district.

Sherpa fell into a crevasse near Camp II when he was accompanying a foreign climber to a nearby helicopter that landed for evacuation, Shrestha told THT over phone. Rescuers had, however, descended him to the base camp and then Namche Bazaar for treatment late in the evening.

Rescuers had pulled him up alive from the deep crevasse, Captain Ashish Sherchan, Chairman at Kailash Helicopters Pvt Ltd said, adding that Senior Captain Maurizio Folini airlifted Sherpa from Camp II to Namche Bazaar for treatment.

Sherpa breathed his last in Namche Bazaar last night, Shrestha said, adding that his body will be sent to Kathmandu for postmortem as soon as possible. The Everest summiteer Sherpa was also an IFMGA/UIAMG mountain guide. Sherpa was part of an expedition jointly run by Himalayan Ascent and Seven Summit Treks.

With this, the death toll on the world’s highest mountain has reached five this season. According to Shrestha, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki died while descending from Camp III to Camp II yesterday. Gjeorgi Petkov from Macedonia died above Camp III due to cardiac arrest on May 20 while Russian climber Rustem Amirov died of altitude sickness at Camp II while attempting to climb Mt Lhotse on May 17. A mountain guide Lama Babu Sherpa, who went missing near Camp IV since May 14, was also presumed dead.