American, Swiss climbers become year’s first casualties on Mt. Everest

Kathmandu, May 13 (EFE).- An American and a Swiss climber have died on Mt. Everest reportedly due to exhaustion while descending from the world’s highest peak, becoming the first casualties of the season.

Mingma Sherpa, managing director of Seven Summit Treks, told EFE Thursday that the two climbers died on Mt. Everest while descending after their health deteriorated.

Chhang Dawa Sherpa, expedition manager of Seven Summit Treks, wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday morning that Abdul Waraich from Switzerland died near the South Summit at an elevation of 8,748 meters.

Waraich had successfully reached scaled the 8,848-meter peak on May 11.

“Waraich successfully reached the summit but began experiencing issues during his descent. We sent two additional Sherpas with oxygen and food, but unfortunately, Sherpas couldn’t save him,” Chhang Dawa wrote.

On the other hand, Puwei Liu of the United States breathed his last at Camp IV (7,900 meters) while descending from Hillary Step, the highest point he managed to reach, before suffering from snow blindness and exhaustion.

“But with the help of extra oxygen supply and additional Sherpa support he safely reached the South Col, late Wednesday evening before he suddenly passed away,” wrote Chhang Dawa.

In 2019, 11 climbers died on Everest, 10 of them attempting the summit from the Nepal side.

A total of 408 Everest climbing permits have been issued this spring, a record since the first ascent of the peak in 1953. With each climber hiring at least one climbing guide, the total number of climbers is estimated to go over 800.

In 2020, climbing season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday morning, around 80 climbers, among them, a 12-member team of the Bahrain Royal Guard including Prince Mohammed Hamad Mohammed Al Khalifa, reached the peak of Mt. Everest.

“In the first window of good weather that has been expected to last until Thursday morning, we have targeted the completion of an expedition of 200 climbers,” Mira Acharya, director at the Department of Tourism, told EFE from the Everest base camp. EFE


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