‘Traffic jam’ on Everest as two more climbers die reaching summit
KATHMANDU: A huge queue of climbers has formed near the summit of Mount Everest as expedition organisers yesterday reported two more deaths on the world's highest mountain.
More than 200 climbers were taking advantage of clear weather to attempt to summit from both Nepal and China, but teams had to line up for hours to reach the top - risking frostbite and altitude sickness.
An American and Indian climber are the latest fatalities, their expedition organisers said, on one of the busiest days on the the 8,848m peak.
Mr Donald Lynn Cash, 55, collapsed at the summit on Wednesday as he was taking photographs, while Ms Anjali Kulkarni, also 55, died while descending after reaching the top.
Ms Kulkarni's expedition organiser, Arun Treks, said heavy traffic at the summit had delayed her descent and caused her death.
"She had to wait for a long time to reach the summit and descend," said Mr Thupden Sherpa. "She couldn't move down on her own and died as Sherpa guides took her down."
Pasang Tenje Sherpa, of Pioneer Adventure, told AFP that Mr Cash collapsed on the summit and died close to Hillary Step as guides were taking him back.
The deaths take the toll on Everest to four this season, after an Indian climber died last week and an Irish mountaineer was presumed dead after he slipped and fell close to the summit.
The Himalayan nation has issued a record 381 permits costing US$11,000 (S$15,200) each for this year's spring climbing season, sparking fears of bottlenecks en route to the summit if poor weather cuts down the number of climbing days. - AFP
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