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An American and a Swiss climber reportedly died of exhaustion while attempting to descend Everest, becoming the first fatalities during this climbing season on the world’s highest peak.
The two climbers died yesterday due to severe deterioration in their health condition, said Seven Summit Treks climbing agency director Mingma Sherpa.
Swiss climber Abdul Waraich died near the south summit at an altitude of 8,748 meters after reaching the mountain peak on May 11, Seven Summit Treks expedition manager Chhang Dawa Sherpa said on his official Facebook page today.
“Waraich successfully reached the summit, but started experiencing problems during the descent. We sent two more Sherpas with oxygen and food, but unfortunately they could not save him,” Chhang Dawa wrote.
Meanwhile, American climber Puwei Liu died at Camp IV, located at 7,900 meters, while trying to descend the so-called Hillary Step, the highest peak he had managed to climb.
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During the descent, he suffered from what is known as snow blindness, as well as exhaustion, something that slowed his progress.
“But with the help of an additional oxygen supply and support from Sherpas, he reached the South Col safely on Wednesday night before suddenly passing away,” Chhang Dawa said.
In 2019, the last expedition season before the pandemic canceled the 2020 season, eleven climbers died on Everest, ten of them on the Nepalese side.
This year, the Asian country issued a total of 408 climbing permits, an all-time high since 1953.
The first Everest summit of the season took place last May 7, with 12 Sherpas ascending to fix ropes to facilitate the climb for the rest of the climbers.
Last Tuesday, a group of 80 climbers arrived at Everest peak, including a group of 12 members of the Royal Guard of Bahrain led by Prince Mohammed Hamad Mohammed Al Khalifa, the director of the Department of Tourism, Mira Acharya, told Efe from the base camp of the mountain.
In addition, due to “the first window of good weather, which is expected to last until Thursday morning, some 200 climbers are expected to complete the expedition,” she added.
Acharya also announced that a new record was achieved during this season, after Sherpa Mingma Tenji managed to climb Everest twice in a row in the shortest time: he reached the peak last May 7, descended to base camp and climbed it again last Monday morning, completing the double summit in four days.
Prior to Mingma Tenji, Indian mountaineer Anshu Jamsenpa held the record for being the first person to climb Everest twice in the same season, achieving the double summit in five days.