At Least 13 Sherpas have been confirmed dead after being caught in an avalanche on 29,035-foot Mt. Everest in Nepal today. Some reports from climbers on the mountain are reporting as high as 16 deaths. This was Mt. Everest’s most deadly single incident. It is being reported that at least 4 other persons are still missing in the avalanche.
The Sherpa were fixing ropes the hundreds of climbers who will be attempting to summit Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, next month when the avalanche struck.
Krishna Lamsal of the Nepal Tourism Ministry informed the Associated Press that the Sherpa had left base camp early in the morning to work on fixing the ropes for the route when they were caught in the avalanche at 6:30am local time on Friday just below Camp 2 at 21,000 feet.
The Sherpa were fixing ropes so that that the hundreds of climbers who will be attempting to summit the 29,028-foot mountain next month will have safe passage. Climbers have been setting up camps and acclimatizing for the taxing journey this month to the summit of Everest.
As soon as the avalanche occurred, rescuers and climbers were on the scene attempting to rescue victims. Three helicopters with rescue gear were also sent in to help.
Two survivors were transported to Kathmandu. At least two others were being treated in the small village of Lukla, located between Kathmandu and Everest.
How Many People Climb Everest?
334 foreign climbers have been given permits to climb Everest this season. Over 400 Sherpa will be assisting them. The first year that over 100 climbers attempted Everest was in 1993. By 2004, over 300 climbers attempted Everest. In 2012, over 500 climbers attempted Everest. This year was the first ever Nepal limited the amount of climbers on Everest.
1 in 10 successful summits ends in death on Everest. Over 4,000 people have attempted to summit Everest since 1953. About 2,000 people have summited Everest. Over 250 people have died on the mountain. There are about 120 dead bodies currently on the mountain.
The Worst Disasters on Everest:
The previous worst disaster on Everest occurred on may 11, 1996 whn 8 climbers were killed in one day decending the summit in a storm. In 1970, 6 Sherpa were killed in an avalanche.
The deadliest year on Everest was 1996, when 15 people died. 12 climbers were killed in 2006.