14 Die, Three Missing In The Himalayas This Spring Season

KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 25 (NNN-NEPALNEWS) – Four more mountaineers died on Thursday and Friday, in Nepal’s Himalayan mountains, bringing the total death toll of this spring season to 14, while three others remained missing, Nepal’s Department of Tourism and expedition organising companies, said.

“A renowned Nepali national mountain guide, Dhruba Bista, died at base camp of Mt. Qomolangma on Friday, while Nima Tenji Sherpa, another climber from Nepal, died in Mt. Makalu on the same day,” Meera Acharya, director at Tourism, said.

On Thursday, an Austrian climber, Ing Landgraf (Ernst), died in Mt. Qomolangma, while he was returning from the top of the mountain, according to Subhas Shrestha, an official at Himalaya Vision Private Limited, which coordinated his climbing.

Nihal Bagwan from India also died in Mt. Qomolangma, according to Nepali officials.

Of the total deaths, seven died in Mt.Qomolangma, three in Mt. Makalu, two in Mt. Kanchenjunga, one in Mt. Lhotse and another one in Mt. Cho Oyu. “One each is missing in Mt. Qomolangma, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Kanchenjunga,” Acharya said.

The climbing window is about to close for this spring.

Veteran Indian climber, Kalpana Das died on Thursday, at Balcony, an 8,000-meter-high location, where climbers usually change oxygen, while descending from the top of Mt. Qomolangma, according Acharya.

Another Indian climber Anjali Sharad Kulkarni died on Wednesday night, due to altitude sickness at Camp IV of Mt. Qomolangma, Acharya said. Kulkarni, 54, was on a mission to climb the world’s tallest peak along with her husband.

On Wednesday, a U.S. climber, Donald Lynn Cash, died at the altitude of 8,765 metres, just below the Hillary step of Mt. Qomolangma, while returning after reaching the peak. According to Pasang Tenje Sherpa, chairman of Pioneer Adventure Private Limited, Cash died due to altitude sickness. “He died despite best effort of our Sherpa guides to save him,” he said.

Expedition organising companies said that huge traffic jam along the way to the top of Mt. Qomolangma may have also contributed to the death of some climbers, as they were exhausted waiting for their turn in challenging the environment.

Around 200 climbers reached the top of the mountain on Wednesday alone, recording the largest single day assent ever.

“I am not sure whether traffic jam is the reason but it leads to exhaustion of some climbers,” Pasang said.

As many as 868 climbers received climbing permits from Nepal’s Tourism Department, to summit the country’s 30 peaks. Of them, 381 got permits to climb Mt. Qomolangma, according to the department.– NNN-NEPALNEWS