If you follow Alan Arnette’s Everest coverage, than you’re already up to date on the different teams on the mountain, who is where, who has sumitted, and the death toll.
News yesterday was that the death toll on the mountain this year had quickly reached 11 (details can be found on Alan’s blog HERE). This is incredibly sad. My interest was peaked, though, when I read that the four most recent deaths were climbers who were on their way down from the summit. As I’ve written before, climber and author Ed Viesturs makes this point over and over in his books: save enough for the trip down. His argument was that most climbers put all their efforts and planning into reaching the summit that by the time they get there, they aren’t in the best shape for the trip down. This might mean that they sumitted too late in the day, or ran out of energy or water or food, or…well, the potential issues are pretty endless.
Now I’ve never climbed Mt. Everest, so I would not second guess the decisions and conduct of the climbers who have lost their life thus far. Nor do I really know enough of the circumstances surrounding their deaths. It just reminds me of Ed’s point and I wonder how each of these climbers and their expeditions approached the climb itself. Based on Alan’s work below, climbers 6, 7, 9, and 10 died after their summit.
Reproduced shamelessly from Alan’s blog, here are the details of the 11 deaths so far:
11 Confirmed deaths
- 40 year-old Karsang Namgyal Sherpa climbing with Prestige Adventures related to alcohol at base camp
- Peak Freaks’ Namgyal Tshering Sherpa fell from a ladder into a crevasse near C1
- Dawa Tenzing with Himex from stroke in the Khumbu Icefall and died in Kathmandu
- 33 year-old Indian, Ramesh Gulve, climbing with the Pune team suffered a stroke around Camp2 and died back in India.
- Dr Ebehard Schaaf with Asian Trekking of HACE near South Summit after his summit
- Shriya Shah, a Canadian Non-Resident Nepali climbing with Happy Feet Expeditions died below the Balcony after her summit
- Won-Bin Song from South Korea climbing with the Korean Everest & Lhotse Expedition died after a fall at the Hillary Step and then at the Balcony after his summit
- Chinese climber, Ha Wenyi climbing with Mountain Experience died just below the Balcony
- Climbing with Himalayan Guides, Spaniard from Tenerife, age 43, Juan José Polodied of exhaustion after his summit on May 19 or 20 after his summit
- Climbing with Monterosa, a German climber, Ralf D. Arnold, broke his leg at the 2nd step and has died after his summit
- 69 year old Italian Luigi Rampini, climbing on a Monterosa permit and logistics, is now at his 4th night at 8300 meters without oxygen. He refused to descend a few days ago and is presumed dead. He was attempting the summit