This spring was the deadliest season ever on the world’s highest mountain since the peak’s first ascent 70 years ago. While there are many success stories, including around 600 summits and several new records, there are also so many tragedies that it’s hard to wrap your head around. With a record 478 permits issued by Nepal to foreign climbers, most people knew this year was going to be a shit show. For each of those permits, several Sherpa are involved, so around 1,200 climbers were hoping to reach the summit. As of now, around 600 climbers did make it to the top.
This is a brief recap of the climbers who died on Everest this spring. With 13 climbers confirmed dead and four others missing and presumed dead, the 17 deaths are the most in a single season on Everest. The first deaths were on April 12 when Tenjing Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, and Badure Sherpa died in a serac collapse. On May 1, American Jonathan Sugarman, 69, died at camp two, two weeks before Phurba Sherpa, who was part of a military clean-up mission, died at camp three. The following day, Moldovan climber Victor Brinza died at the South Col. One day after that, Chinese Xuebin Chen, 52, died close to the South Summit. Less than 48 hours later, Malaysian Ag Askandar Bin Ampuan Yaacub died above the South Summit.
Indian Suzanne Leopoldina Jesus, 59, died after becoming ill at Everest base camp. On May 21, Australian Jason Bernard Kennison, 40, died while going for the summit. Two days later, Ang Kami Sherpa, who was an expedition cook, died at camp two. On May 24, Canadian Dr. Pieter Swart, 63, died descending from the South Col. Famed Hungarian climber Szilard Suhajda, climbing solo without supplemental oxygen or a Sherpa went missing and is presumed dead. Also missing are Malaysian Hawari Bin Hashim, 33; Indian Singaporean Shrinivas Sainis Dattatray; and Janakpur-based Ranjit Kumar Shah and Lakpa Nuru Sherpa.
There were also several rescues, injuries, complaints about accumulating garbage, theft and more discouraging events that will give the mountaineering community much to reflect on as the season ends. Our condolences to the family and friends of all those who died on Everest this year.