Three more climbers have died on Everest, expedition organizers and officials said Friday, taking the toll from a deadly week on the overcrowded peak of the world’s tallest mountain to seven.
Hundreds of mountaineers have attempted to summit Everest’s 29,029-foot peak over the last couple of days when the weather cleared, sparking a bottleneck and ‘summit traffic jam’ that led to people being stopped on the side of the mountain for hours, local media reported. At that altitude, every single second counts. Spending a long time above the death zone increases the risk of frostbite, altitude sickness, and death.
“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 on 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 when he got stuck in the traffic for 12-hours. And 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.
- Related: Utah Man and Indian Woman Caught in Everest ‘Traffic Jam’ Died After Reaching the Summit Yesterday
Previously, Wednesday saw an Indian woman, 55-year-old Anjali Kulkarni, and a man from Utah die on their descent after summiting. Last week, an Indian climber died and an Irish mountaineer is presumed dead after he slipped and fell close to the summit.