As the spring 2016 climbing season on Everest wraps up in a week, hundreds of climbers celebrate ascents from the south. There will be final summit pushes this week on Everest, Lhotse and Shishpangma. Over 30 climbers developed severe frostbite near the summit of Everest this week. Mountaineering Department official Gyanendra Shrestha said, “Favourable weather has allowed nearly 400 climbers to reach the summit from Nepal since May 11, but the altitude, weather and harsh terrain can cause problems at any time.”
There have been many successful rescues, but two climbers on the same team died late last week. Dutch climber Eric Arnold and Australian Maria Elizabeth Strydom died in camp four on Friday night and Saturday. The family and team leaders are deciding whether to bring their bodies down or to leave them in the high altitude. The were the first confirmed above base camp this year.
In an interview before his summit, Arnold said, “Two-thirds of the accidents happen on the way down. If you get euphoric and think ‘I have reached my goal,’ the most dangerous part is still ahead of you.” Strydom was on her way to climb the seven summits and had climbed Denali, Ararat, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua.
Zakarpattya-based Iryna Galay, 28, became the first Ukrainian woman to summit Everest last week. She started climbing three years ago after she made a bet with friends that she could climb Mount Kazbek. Her climbing instructor was Viktor Bobok, the first Ukrainian to climb the seven summits.
Since the first climbers reached the summit of Everest on May 19 from the north, dozens more have topped out. A number of climbers going oxygen-free are on their way to camp three, including Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger who have been using Snapchat to share their climb.
At nearly 25,000 ft, walking is a humbling task. The somewhat hysterical part is that @adrianballinger and I still have 4,000 ft of climbing without the use of supplementary oxygen to go. It will take another two weeks at least before our bodies are ready. Today was the kind of climbing day you dream about. Calm skies, no wind, perfect temps…I climbed in a T-shirt all the way to a little tent dug into the ice. Meanwhile, friends stood on top having climbed from the South side. The wind has since picked up and it's snowing a bit….but for the most part, all seems in place as Adrian settle in for a little high altitude pain. #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer #everestnofilter