Published: Mon, May 27, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Everest Climber Dies as Death Toll in Nepal Reaches 18

Everest Climber Dies as Death Toll in Nepal Reaches 18

Nirmal Purja, an accomplished climber who is attempting to summit 14 peaks worldwide within seven months, was on his way down from the summit at Everest when he made a decision to stop and photograph the scene behind him.

The longer a climber has to wait in line, higher is the probability of them running out of oxygen.

The climbs bring Rita, 49, closer to his target of 25 ascents of Everest before he retires from high mountain climbing.

Photos of long queues near the summit have been widely shared as record numbers ascended the mountain in May.

A British mountaineer who recently died on Everest warned of overcrowding at the summit in his last post to social media. He also reached the top of the world's highest peak on May 15, then returned to base camp before climbing again this past week.

A traffic jam of climbers in the Everest "death zone" has been blamed for at least four of the deaths, heightening concerns that the drive for profits is trumping safety.

Hiking officials attributed most of the deaths to weakness, exhaustion and delays on the crowded route to the 8,850-meter (29,035 feet) summit. Death. Carnage. Chaos. Line-ups.

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"Some climbers died due to their own negligence. Some of these climbers who died spent 10 or 12 hours to get to the summit and 4 to 6 hours to get back down near the South Col [at 7,906 meters]", he wrote on his blog on May 26.

Nepal's permits this season cost $11 000 each, providing the impoverished Himalayan country with much-needed foreign currency.

Each climber with a permit is assisted by at least one Sherpa, adding to the summit congestion.

An American climber, Austrian climber and two Indian climbers are also reported to have died.

On the northern Tibet side of the mountain, a 56-year-old Irishman died on Friday morning, his expedition organiser confirmed in a statement on its Facebook page.

Eleven people have died in the past nine days while attempting to reach the summit. "He was descending with his sherpa guides from the summit when he suddenly fainted". "If you are setting out on an Everest expedition, it is no less than heading for a war", said Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks.

Nepalese veteran Sherpa guide Kami Rita, 49, is welcomed by his sister at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, May 25, 2019.

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