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Everest 2014, off to a bad start

The commercial climbing season on Mount Everest is about to begin and it could not be off to a worse start.

As teams prepare to arrive in Base Camp, there’s already been a fatality and accident on the South Side.

Mingma Tenzing, a Sherpa with Peaks Freaks, passed away in Kathmanu after falling ill with HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema.) Tenzing was from the largest town in the Khumbu, Namche Bazaar, and was part of the Peak Freaks’ summit team. “We are in complete disbelief,” the expedition said, “This reminds us once again just how serious AMS (acute mountain sickness) is. Our team is overwhelmed with sadness.”

A Sherpa on the Icefall Doctors team was injured when he fell into a crevasse and broke his leg, he was rescued and evacuated. The Icefall Doctors are the highly specialized Sherpas who build and maintain the route through the Khumbu Icefall every year. As the glacier shifts, the route changes and the Doctors install ropes, ladders and break trail for the thousands of climbers who need assistance navigating objective hazard, such as guided clients. The doctors never get a chance to summit Everest, eventhough their job is the most dangerous on Everest. The crevasse accident happened near Camp One which means the Doctors job is almost complete.

With the ropes and ladders in place, teams will begin to move up the Khumbu next week, many teams are already on the trail. As they approach the mountain their bodies begin to acclimatize. The trail offers some of the most spectacular views of the Himalaya and surely the excitement levels are rising.

Hopefully this will be the only bad news from Everest this season. Despite the controversies surrounding commercial climbing on Mount Everest, it is an industry which supports a way of life for the Sherpa.

To view all active expeditions, see here.

The Icefall Doctors
The Icefall Doctors
Stupa on the trek to Pangboche  Photo Peak Freaks
Stupa on the trek to Pangboche Photo Peak Freaks

Source: Peak Freaks, Alpinism Online