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10 Climbers Have Died on Everest This Spring

It’s been the deadliest year on Everest since 2012, with at least 10 deaths so far in the spring of 2019. The most recent death was of a Robin Hanes Fisher, 41, a British climber who collapsed descending from the summit. He died about 150 metres below the summit according to Murari Sharma, Managing Director at Everest Pariwar Treks. Jangbu Sherpa, a guide on the same expedition, also fell ill and was brought to a camp at lower altitude.

A statement from Fisher’s family said, “We are deeply saddened by his loss as he still had so many more adventures and dreams to fulfil. Everyone who ever met him in any capacity will always remember the positive impact he had on their lives.”

On Friday, Kevin Hynes, 56, from Ireland died on the northern Tibet side of Everest while in his tent at 7,000 metres. Also in the past few days, Dhurba Bista died at base camp during his rescue and Nima Tshering Sherpa died at camp two after reaching the summit.

Austrian climber Ing “Ernst” Landgraf, 65, died at the second step after making a summit push. Indian climber Nihal Bagwan, 27, died at camp four after he was rescued by a group at the balcony area. Indian climber Kalpana Das, 49, also died near the balcony, she was a member of the Three Women Expedition and had climbed Everest in 2008. And Indian climber Anjali S Kulkarni, 54, died above camp four after reaching the summit.

Earlier in the season, American Don Cash died after being revived near the summit. His rescuers got stuck in a traffic jam while assisting Cash down near the Hillary Step. His death came a week after Irish climber Sean Lawless went missing in the death zone. “This is a total blast,” Cash wrote from the mountain in April in a post on Instagram. “I’m truly blessed to just be here on this adventure with great new friends!!”

On Wednesday, there were two-hour delays at the Hillary Step. “You’ve got people who’ve got lifelong dreams, whether they’re 28 or 58, to climb Mount Everest. And they get there, they achieve their dream and they perish doing something that was supposed to be one of the most meaningful events of their life,” said Alan Arnette.

A record number of permits (41 teams and 378 climbers) were issued by Nepal this year and the weather has been unpredictable offering short windows for climbing. Many climbers have spent up to 20 hours in the death zone while waiting for slow lines, nearly double the time they should be.

Canadian filmmaker Elia Saikaly, reached the top of Everest this year for a third time. “It was chaos. It was carnage. It was everything you read that was horrible about Mount Everest,” Saikaly told CTV’s Melanie Nagy Saturday from base camp. “Within 20 minutes of leaving the last camp to go to the summit, we were seeing climbers being dragged down by their Sherpas. We were climbing over dead bodies.”

Calgary climber Andrew Brash told CTV News Channel on Saturday that “you get people going to the top every day” during good weather in summit season. In 2006, Brash and other climbers helped save the life of Lincoln Hall after he collaped descending from the summit. “There’s just too many people up there. I feel like we need to back off a little bit… It’s clearly out of hand right now,”

In 2018, 807 climbers reached the top of Everest and 2019 summit total could beat that once the autumn season is over. There have now been 20 deaths in the Himalayas this year with the most recent being Nima Tshering Sherpa who died on Makalu after summiting.

Last week, the below summit went viral, bringing a lot of media attention to the crowds on Everest. As the season continues, hopefully there won’t be any more sad news coming from the world’s highest mountain.