An American climber has died on Mount Everest, the organizer of his expedition said on Tuesday, marking the first death of a foreigner on the world’s highest mountain this season.
The 69-year-old climber was at an altitude of about 21,000 feet when he died on Monday.
“He was unwell and died at Camp 2. Efforts are underway to recover (return) his body,” Pasang Chering Sherpa of Beyul Adventure told AFP.
Sherpa said bad weather was hampering the recovery.
Beyul Adventure is the local partner of the American expedition organizer International Mountain Guides.
“It is with deep sadness that IMG announces the death of one of our Everest 2023 team members at Camp 2,” said IMG CEO Eric Simonson says a message on the company’s website. “We can confirm that this event was not the result of a climbing accident or route conditions that could have had a potential impact or safety issue for other teams on the mountain. The rest of the IMG climbing team is feeling as good as it gets. It is expected, given the circumstances.’
The climber’s name has not been released.
The spring climbing season on Everest got off to a tragic start last month the death of three Nepali climbers.
They were crossing the treacherous Khumbu Icefall on a supply mission when a block of glacial ice fell and carried them into a deep crevasse.
Nepal has issued 466 permits to foreign climbers, and since most will need a guide, more than 900 people will attempt the summit this season, which runs until early June.
This can lead to heavy traffic and bottlenecks on the way to the top, especially if there is a smaller climbing window due to bad weather.
On average, about five climbers die on the world’s highest peak every year.
But 11 people died in 2019, with four of the deaths blamed on overcrowding that year.
Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks and welcomes hundreds of adventurers each spring, when temperatures are warm and winds are usually calm.
Last month, a Northern Irish mountaineer Noel Hanna, 56, died on AnnapurnaThe 10th highest mountain in the world, which has an even higher death rate than Mount Everest.
The 56-year-old adventurer was returning after successfully climbing the 26,545-foot peak when he died at Camp 4.
A day later, Indian mountaineer-record holder Baljit Kaur, 28, and compatriot Arjun Vajpayee, 30, were rescued after an hour-long search.
A third Indian climber, Anurag Malu, 34, was later rescued alive after falling 985 feet into a crevasse.