Two dead and three missing on Mount Everest in less than a week

Two dead and three missing on Mount Everest in less than a week
Two dead and three missing on Mount Everest in less than a week

Between Tuesday May 21 and Wednesday May 22, two climbers were found dead and three are still being sought. Separate events which increase the toll of the highest peak in the world.

Two Kenyan and Nepalese climbers died near the summit of Everest in Nepal, the Nepalese Tourism Department announced on Thursday, May 23, bringing to at least four the number of deaths during the mountaineering season on the highest mountain. mountain of the world, where three people are wanted.

The body of Kenyan climber Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui was found between the summit and Hillary Pass, said Khim Lal Gautam, head of the local Tourism Department office. The 40-year-old man and his Nepalese guide Nawang Sherpa, still missing, had not given any sign of life since Wednesday May 22.

Another Nepalese climber, Binod Babu Bastakoti, 37, died the same day at around 8,200 meters, the Tourism Department added in a statement. These deaths are the sixth and seventh this mountaineering season in Nepal.

Three people missing

In addition to the Kenyan mountaineer’s guide missing since Wednesday, two other people are still being searched for. They concern the British mountaineer Daniel Paul Paterson, 40 years old, and his guide Pas Tenji Sherpa, 21 years old, who disappeared Tuesday, May 21 in the morning at approximately 8,750 meters above sea level while descending from the summit of Everest, in the collapse of a cornice.

In a video posted on Instagram by Vinayak Jaya Malla, a Nepalese guide and mountaineer present at the time of the incident, we see a slowdown in traffic due to the number of people making the climb.

“The summit ridge of Everest felt different from my previous experiences on the mountain,” he explains in the description of his video.

According to the climber, there was “soft snow, numerous cornices and snow-covered rock sections.” In a second video broadcast by Vinayak Jaya Malla, we see a mountaineer trying to climb with difficulty to the top of the ridge. Still according to the Nepalese mountaineer, four people were swept away by the collapse of the cornice, before managing to cling to a rope at the last minute.

“Unfortunately, two climbers are still missing. We tried to cross, but it was impossible due to traffic on the landline,” he lamented on Instagram.

More than 900 climbing permits issued this year

Around 500 foreign and Nepalese climbers have already reached the summit of Everest since April, when the climbing season begins which lasts until early June. In spring, when temperatures are mild and winds generally lower, hundreds of climbers flock to Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks.

Ultra-experienced Sherpas are the first, each year, to reach the summit of Everest, opening a safe circuit. Nepal’s multimillion-dollar mountaineering industry relies on the experience of Sherpas, Nepalese mountaineers who serve as guides. They pay a heavy price for accompanying foreign climbers every year, with a third of Everest deaths being Nepali guides.

Monday May 20, Romanian mountaineer Gabriel Viorel Tabara was found dead in his tent on Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world. Last week, two Mongolian climbers who went missing after reaching the summit of Everest were found dead. Previously, a Frenchman and a Nepalese had died on Makalu, the fifth highest peak in the world.

Nepal has issued more than 900 permits to climb its mountains this year – including 419 for Everest – to foreign mountaineers who, for the most part, climb accompanied by a Nepalese guide. In 2023, more than 600 climbers reached the summit of Everest, a year marked by a disastrous record of 18 deaths.

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