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Mount Everest: Death Toll Rises to Seven in a Week

The Himalayan nation has issued a record 381 permits costing $11,000 each for this year's spring climbing season

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mount everest
FILE - Mountaineers walk near Camp One of Mount Everest, April 29, 2018, as they prepare to ascend on the south face from Nepal. VOA

Three more climbers have died on Mount Everest, expedition organizers and officials said Friday, taking the toll from a deadly week on the overcrowded world’s highest peak to seven.

“Two more Indian climbers have died on Everest yesterday,” Mira Acharya, spokeswoman for Nepal’s Tourism Department, told AFP, while expedition organizers confirmed the third fatality.

Kalpana Das, 52, reached the summit but died Thursday afternoon while descending, as a huge number of climbers queued near the top of Mount Everest.

Another Indian climber, 27-year-old Nihal Bagwan, also died on his way back from the summit.

Mount Everest, Death Toll, Seven

Three more climbers have died on Mount Everest. Pixabay

“He was stuck in the traffic for more than 12 hours and was exhausted. Sherpa guides carried him down to Camp 4 but he breathed his last there,” said Keshav Paudel of Peak Promotion.

An Austrian climber died on the northern Tibet side of the mountain, his expedition organizer said.

The 65-year-old died close to the summit on his descent.

Wednesday saw an Indian and American climber die on the mountain. Last week, an Indian climber died and an Irish mountaineer is presumed dead after he slipped and fell close to the summit.

Climbing is big business

Mountaineering in Nepal has become a lucrative business since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made the first ascent of Everest in 1953.

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The Himalayan nation has issued a record 381 permits costing $11,000 each for this year’s spring climbing season, triggering bottlenecks en route to the summit after poor weather cut down the number of climbing days.

Most Everest hopefuls are escorted by a Nepali guide, meaning more than 750 climbers were expected to tread the same path to the top in the current season.

At least 140 others have been granted permits to scale Everest from the northern flank in Tibet, according to expedition operators. This could take the total past last year’s record of 807 people reaching the summit.

Peak season

Many Himalayan mountains, including Everest, are at peak climbing season, with the window of good weather between late April and the end of May.

Mount Everest, Death Toll, Seven
Mountaineering in Nepal has become a lucrative business . Pixabay

At seven other climbers have died on other 8,000-meter Himalayan peaks this season, while two are missing. (VOA)

Next Story

National Geographic Society Installs World’s Highest Operating Weather Stations on Mount Everest

The successful installation aims to break new ground in our monitoring and understanding of climate change as the stations will help continuously monitor the upper reaches of the atmosphere

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mount everest, weather stations
"The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 metres, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time." Pixabay

The National Geographic Society has announced the successful installation of the worlds highest operating weather stations on Mount Everest to provide researchers, climbers, and the public with near real-time information about mountain conditions, the media reported.

“The multi-disciplinary team installed the world’s two highest operating automated weather stations at Balcony area (8,430 m) and South Col (7,945 m), as well as three other weather stations on Mount Everest,” Fae Jencks, Director, Marketing and Communications at the National Geographic Society, said in a statement on Thursday.

The other stations were placed at Phortse (3,810 m), Everest Base Camp (5,315 m) and Camp II (6,464 m), the statement said, adding that each weather station will record data on temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction, reports The Himalayan Times.

mount everest
This photograph taken from a helicopter shows an aerial view of Mount Everest in Nepal’s Solukhumbu district, some 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of Kathmandu, on Nov. 22, 2018. VOA

Data from the weather stations and other new research conducted as part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the more than one billion people in the region.

The successful installation aims to break new ground in our monitoring and understanding of climate change as the stations will help continuously monitor the upper reaches of the atmosphere, which is critical to tracking and predicting weather patterns around the globe, the statement added.

“The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 metres, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time.”

mount everest
Data from the weather stations and other new research conducted as part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the more than one billion people in the region. Pixabay

From April to June, an international team of scientists, climbers and story-tellers, led by the NatGeo Society and Tribhuvan University and supported in partnership with Rolex, conducted a scientific expedition to Everest, believed to be the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to the mountain in history, it claimed.

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According to the statement, the multi-disciplinary team also collected the highest-ever ice core sample (at 8,020 metres), conducted comprehensive bio-diversity surveys at multiple elevations, completed the highest-elevation helicopter-based lidar scan, expanded the elevation records for high-dwelling species and documented the history of the mountain’s glaciers.

With team members from eight countries, including 17 Nepali researchers, the expedition team conducted trailblazing research in five areas of science that are critical to understanding environmental changes and their impacts: biology, glaciology, meteorology, geology and mapping. (IANS)