Everest traffic jam turns deadly | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 26, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:47 AM, May 26, 2019

Everest traffic jam turns deadly

Deaths of British, Irish climbers push toll to 10 in a week

Two more 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.

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 yesterday.

British climber Robin Fisher, 44, reached the summit yesterday 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 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).

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.

 

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