left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Qomolangma safety under scrutiny as third climber dies

Updated: 2016-05-25 14:53

Qomolangma safety under scrutiny as third climber dies

Australian climber Robert Gropel, husband of Maria Strydom, 34, who died while descending from the summit of Mount Qomolangma, sits inside his hotel after being rescued from Everest in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 24, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

KATHMANDU/SYDNEY - A 43-year-old Indian mountaineer has died while descending from the summit of Mount Qomolangma, in the third fatality on the world's tallest mountain in as many days since climbing resumed after last year's avalanche tragedy at Base Camp.

Subash Paul, who climbed the 8,850 metre (29,035 feet) on Saturday, perished the next day due to exhaustion, Wangchu Sherpa of the Trekking Camp Nepal company said on Monday.

An Australian woman and a Dutch national have also died since Friday due to altitude sickness in the notorious 'death zone' where the air is so thin that only the fittest can survive without supplementary oxygen.

Hiking officials and climbing veterans say the deaths raise questions about the preparations and safety standards of some climbing operators, with cut-price local companies competing for business as international outfits scale back operations.

This year's Everest campaign has been hit by high winds on some days when climbers had been counting on the weather 'window' to open to make their summit bids before the monsoon sweeps in next month.

Queues have formed on the final stretch to the summit, which is often secured by a single rope line, leading veterans to complain that slow and inexperienced climbers were holding up others and putting them at undue risk.

"Many climbers without any experience crowd Everest every year, and companies often use poor quality equipment... offering cheap packages to clients who are exposed to security risks," Nepal Mountaineering Association Chief Ang Tshering Sherpa said.

"Climbers with well-managed companies employing experienced guides are safe."

Hiking officials blame the government, which charges $11,000 for each Everest permit, for failing to spend any money on safety measures. The government collected $3.1 million from 289 climbers as permit fees so far this year.

But officials blame inadequate preparation on the part of climbers.

"The deaths were not due to accident or the crowd," Tourism Department official Sudarshan Dhakal said. "Energy loss and altitude sickness mean that they were not well prepared."

Previous Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next Page

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.