Indian Climber Rescued from Everest Dies in Hospital

Tue May 28 2024
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KATHMANDU: An Indian climber rescued from Mount Everest has died in a hospital, bringing the total number of fatalities this climbing season to eight, according to a Nepali tourism official. Banshi Lal, 46, was evacuated from Everest last week and taken to a hospital in Kathmandu, where he passed away on Monday, as reported by Rakesh Gurung of the tourism department.

Among the eight fatalities, three individuals, including a British climber and two Nepali guides, are listed as missing but presumed dead. The current death toll for this season is relatively low compared to last year’s, which saw 18 climbers lose their lives, marking it as the deadliest season on record.

In addition to Everest, three more climbers perished on other Nepali peaks. These include a Romanian climber on Lhotse, and both a French and a Nepali climber on Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest mountain. Nepal, home to eight of the world’s ten highest peaks, attracts hundreds of adventurers each spring, drawn by warmer temperatures and calmer winds.

All Everest fatalities this season occurred in the “death zone,” above 8,000 meters (26,200 feet), where the thin air and low oxygen levels significantly increase the risk of altitude sickness.

Despite the dangers, several records have been broken this year. Nepali climber Phunjo Lamam achieved the fastest ascent by a woman, reaching Everest’s summit in 14 hours and 31 minutes. Additionally, 54-year-old Kami Rita Sherpa, known as “Everest Man,” reached the peak for a record 30th time, 30 years after his first summit.

Nepal has issued over 900 climbing permits this year, including 419 for Everest, generating more than $5 million in royalties. Over 600 climbers and their guides have already summited Everest this season, following the rope-fixing team’s successful ascent last month. China also reopened the Tibetan route to foreigners for the first time since 2020, when it was closed due to the pandemic.

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