Everest Climbing Death Toll at 5 within first week of Season
The 2016 Mt. Everest climbing season has claimed its first victims. The body of one of two Indian nationals who went missing on Mount Everest last week has been located, the managing director of Trekking Camp Nepal said Friday.
Paresh Chandra Nath is the fifth person to die climbing the world’s highest peak this season.
A team of Sherpas located Nath’s body Friday morning but were unable to carry it to base camp because of weather conditions, Wangchu Sherpa told CNN. Nath’s climbing companion Paul, 44, died Sunday at Base Camp II from altitude sickness, according to Wangchu Sherpa
Another member of Nath’s climbing team, Goutam Ghosh, is missing, Wangchu Sherpa said.
The recent deaths — coming so quickly on the heels of one another — have rattled climbers who are beginning their descent as the Everest climbing season nears its end. April and May are the most common months to attempt a climb because there tends to be less wind. Regardless, the climate on the mountain is brutal. Temperatures on Everest can range from -31 to -4 Fahrenheit.
Last week, crew member Phurba Sherpa fell to his death. The 25-year-old had been working to fix a route about 150 meters near the summit when he fell Thursday.
Eric Arnold, 36, of the Netherlands, died of a suspected heart attack on Friday night while heading back after a successful summit on Everest. Arnold was a triathlete based in Rotterdam, according to his Twitter bio.
Australian woman Maria Strydom died from altitude sickness last Saturday shortly after she reached Camp IV, the final camp before the summit. Strydom, 34, could not climb any higher and a rescue attempt to reach her failed and she was pronounced dead before she could return to Camp III.
The death zone (where altitudes higher than 8,000 meters), is where the risk of dying significantly increases for climbers. There is little oxygen there, so altitude sickness is common and can be deadly. Temperatures tumble, winds intensify and frostbite can hit any exposed part of the body. The ground is icy, so falls are not uncommon. Staying within the death zone longer than 16 to 20 hours is likely to cause death.