Home > News

11 Climbers Have Died on Everest, 21 in Himalayas in 2019

Colorado climber Christopher John Kulish, 62, died on Monday after reaching the summit of Everest from the Nepalese side. Kulish died while descending to the south col at 7,900 metres. The family said in statement that they were “heartbroken” and that “Chris, who turned 62 in April, went up with a very small group in nearly ideal weather after the crowds of last week had cleared Everest.”

Everest has been making headlines around the world this season because of overcrowding, bad weather and a lot of deaths. At least 11 climbers have died on Everest this year and 21 in the Himalayas. The long lines on Everest are gone and the spring season is nearly over.

“With a single route to the summit, delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game,” British climber Robin Haynes Fisher wrote on Instagram post on in early May before falling ill and dying.

View this post on Instagram

Climbed up to camp 3, 7500m but the jet stream had returned closing the summit after only 2 days so I descended to basecamp. Around 100 climbers did summit in those 2 days with sadly 2 deaths, an Indian man found dead in his tent at camp 4 and an Irish climber lost, assumed fallen, on his descent. A go fund me page has been set up for a rescue bid for the Irish climber but it is a well meaning but futile gesture. Condolences to both their friends and families. Both deaths happened above 8000m in the so called death zone where the majority of deaths of foreign climbers happen. Around 700 more people will be looking to summit from Tuesday the 21st onwards. My revised plan, subject to weather that at the moment looks promising, is to return up the mountain leaving basecamp Tuesday the 21st 0230 and, all being well and a lot of luck, arriving on the summit the morning of Saturday the 25th. I will be climbing with my Sherpa, Jangbu who is third on the all time list with an incredible 19 summits. The other 4 members of our team decided to remain on the mountain and are looking to summit on the 21st. My cough had started to return at altitude so I couldn’t wait with them at altitude for the window to open without the risk of physically deteriorating too much. Furthermore as I had missed due to sickness the earlier camp 3 rotation best practice was for me to descend to allow my body to recover from the new altitude high so I could come back stronger. This was not an easy decision as the 13 hours climbing from basecamp to camp 2 in a day was the hardest physical and mental challenge I had ever done, now I have it all to do again. Finally I am hopeful to avoid the crowds on summit day and it seems like a number of teams are pushing to summit on the 21st. With a single route to the summit delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game. #everest #everest2019 #lhotseface

A post shared by Robin (@1c0n0clast22) on

Despite using supplemental oxygen, most people just cannot survive in the death zone for more than a few hours. Long lines have forced some people to be above 8,000 metres for up to 15 hours. The result has been a number of sudden deaths as a result of altitude sickness.

While the guides and Sherpas are highly skilled and certified, the organizers and expedition company leaders often aren’t. Since 1992, over 200 climbers have died on Everest, most of their bodies still under the snow and in the glaciers.

Himalayan Deaths 2019

Everest: Christopher John Kulish, 61
Everest: British Robin Haynes Fisher, 44
Everest: Nepali Dhurba Bista
Everest: Irish Kevin Hynes, 56
Everest: Indian Nihal Bagwan
Everest: Ernst Landgraf, 65
Everest: Indian Kalpana Das, 49
Everest: Indian Anjali S Kulkarni, 54
Everest: American Don Cash, 54
Everest: Indian Ravi Thakar
Everest: Irish Seamus Sean Lawless, 39
Makalu: India Dipankar Ghos, 52
Makalu: Sherpa Nima Tshering Sherpa
Makalu: Indian Narayan Singh
Makalu: Peruvian Richard Hidalgo, 52
Kangchenjunga: Indian Biplab Baidya, 48
Kangchenjunga: Indian Kuntal Karar, 46
Kangchenjunga: Chilean Rodrigo Vivanco
Lhotse: Bulgarian Ivan Yuriev Tomov
Cho Oyu: Phujung Bhote Sherpa
Annapurna: Wui Kin Chin, 48

A number of Canadians have reached the summit of Everest this year, including Elia Saikaly from Ottawa, Mark Ballard from Newfoundland, Mike Mulrooney from Nova Scotia and others.

It has been a tragic year on Everest, but there’s also been over 825 summits from climbers around the world. We’ll have a complete recap of the year once the last climbers are off the mountain.

View this post on Instagram

The south summit of Mt. Everest. . The irony of climbing the world's tallest mountain is that it's supposed to be one of the most incredible experiences of your life and yet it's very difficult to process the magnitude of the events that are unfolding around you. You're exhausted, deprived of oxygen, dehydrated, climbing towards the summit with numb extremities and yet have to perform at the highest level, while responding to uncontrollable events around you. . The common experience is that those who stand on the summit only begin to fully realize what they've accomplished and/or experienced long after they've descended and left basecamp. . In my case, our mad dash out of Camp 4 at 9:30pm to avoid the cues turned into a marathon of filming, passing climbers all night long and bouncing around the line to document the 4 Arab women featured in the 'Dream of Everest' documentary. . Just before sunrise, my climbing partner Pasang Kaji Sherpa and I climbed onto the ridge just off the safety lines at the south summit and watched over 30 climbers pass us so we could gather footage of the team members who were trailing slightly behind. . This photograph of the south summit was quickly taken on our descent as we raced down to avoid the incoming weather system. I barely looked at the view and quickly took this pic as I raced down the mountain. It wasn't until today that I reviewed some of my images and was stunned to see how beautiful the morning was, how majestic the views were from the summit ridge with some of the tallest mountains on Earth looming beneath our feet. . . #Everest #summitclimb #8848 #Everest2019 #Southsummit #topoftheworld #nepal #himalayas #earth #beautifulearth #adventure #explore #expedition #8000m #Canon #dreamsbecomingreality #travel #shotoncanon #voyaged #natgeo #mountaineering #adventure #adventurephotography #shotoftheday @natgeo

A post shared by Elia Saikaly (@eliasaikaly) on

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

The Best Online Sales on Climbing Gear

Get the gear you need to explore the outdoors at a discount from the comfort of home