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  1. ITV Report

Three dead and 30 sick in Mount Everest climb attempts

Credit: PA

Three climbers have died and 30 have become sick during attempts to climb Mount Everest in recent days.

On Monday it was confirmed that 43-year-old Indian mountaineer, Subash Paul, was the third person to die on the world's tallest mountain since Friday.

Although Mr Paul reached the 29,035ft (8,850m) summit on Saturday, he died the following day during the descent, due to exhaustion.

Dutch climber Eric Ary Arnold died on Friday after reaching the mountain's peak, while Australian university lecturer Maria Strydom died on Saturday before reaching the summit.

The deaths are the first confirmed fatalities on the mountain this year.

Hikers at Everest Base Camp Credit: PA

Arnold Coster, the owner of Arnold Coster Expeditions which led the group containing both Strydom and Eric Ary Arnold, said both climbers became ill very quickly on the descent.

Two Indian climbers have also been reported missing since Saturday, with hiking officials reporting that chances of finding them alive were now slim.

The majority of the 30 people who have become ill in recent days suffered from frostbite, said mountaineering department official Gyanendra Shrestha.

Many climbers without any experience crowd Everest every year, and companies often use poor quality equipment...offering cheap packages to clients who are exposed to security risks.

Climbers with well-managed companies employing experienced guides are safe.

– Nepal Mountaineering Association Chief Ang Tshering Sherpa

Hiking officials have also blamed the Nepalese government, which charges almost £7,900 for each Everest permit, for failing to spend any money on safety measures. The government has collected £2.14 million from 289 climbers as permit fees so far this year.

However officials blame inadequate preparation on the part of climbers.

The deaths were not due to accident or the crowd. Energy loss and altitude sickness mean that they were not well prepared.

– Tourism Department official Sudarshan Dhakal

Deaths on Mount Everest are not uncommon, but there are fears that the latest fatalities could further hit the mountaineering trade in Nepal.

At least 18 people died a year ago when an earthquake sent a massive snow slide careening into Base Camp, while an avalanche in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall killed 16 guides in 2014. The back-to-back tragedies had halted climbing on Everest, and the 2016 season had only started last month.

Base camp was all but destroyed in the avalanche last year Credit: Alex Staniforth

Good weather over the past two weeks has allowed more than 350 climbers to reach the summit this month from the Nepali side of Everest. Several people have climbed from Tibet.