American climber Don Cash from Utah has died near the Hillary Step on Everest. Cash, 55, was part of a large team that made a 12-hour push with Nepal-based Pioneer Adventures. Cash collapsed after after reaching the summit, but his guides performed CPR and revived him.
According to Himalayan reporter Alan Arnette, Cash’s guides carried him to the Hillary Step, but a traffic jam on the fixed ropes prevented further descent. Cash died before descending any farther.
“I am truly blessed to be able to take the next five months off on a sabbatical to finish the last two remaining mountains on my Seven Summits Club dream,” Cash wrote online. Mt. Vinson-Masiff in Antarctica Jan 7 to 26, 2019 and then Everest in Nepal April/May 2019. I’m excited to look for the next chapter of my career in June when I return. Safely. With all my digits.”
Hundreds of people have been clipped into the fixed ropes that ascend from base camp to the summit over the past week. Cash is the third climber to die on Everest this season. Indian climber Ravi Thakar died at the south col and Irish climber Seamus Sean Lawless disappeared around 8,300 metres.
In total, 12 climbers have died on mountains over 8,000 metres this season and a number of climbers are recovering from illness or injury. It’s another tragic year in the Himalayas.
“Cash’s body is said not recoverable,” wrote Arnette, “and friends add ‘his final resting place will probably be exactly where he wanted.'” Condolences to Cash’s family and friends.