Any assault on Mt. Everest should be approached with plenty of caution and care. After all, it is a perilous journey, and there have been many who have fallen in their attempts over the past few decades with very little chance of having their bodies retrieved due to the extremely difficult conditions. 2017 has not been a very good year for climbers who attempt to make it to the summit at Everest, with the latest death toll for this year standing at 10 after another four bodies were found at camp four by a rescue team.
All four bodies of the climbers were discovered within a tent on Everest, according to an expedition organizer. The spring season has certainly taken its fair share of victims already, and it does look as though the foolhardy who intend to scale the summit will continue to see more victims to the famous peak throughout the rest of the viable climbing time window. Mingma Sherpa, head of Seven Summits Trek, shared, "Our rescuers found bodies of four climbers in a tent at camp four yesterday. We don't have the details of who they are or how they died yet." Seven Summits Trek is a Kathmandu-based agency which carries out expeditions as well as rescue operations on the mountain. According to local media, two of the deceased were foreigners, while the other two were presumably their Sherpa guides. The Nepal government liaison officer who is stationed at base camp was not available for comment or further clarification.
Over the weekend, four people lost their lives on the 8,848 metre peak, and they include American doctor Roland Yearwood and Slovak climber Vladimir Strba. Both of them expired at the now infamous “death zone” of the mountain that lies above the 8,000 metre mark. This is where the amount of oxygen would have fallen to extremely low levels, which in turn increases the risk of altitude sickness. 27-year old Indian climber Ravi Kumar also died, and his body was seen on Monday a couple of days after he made his way up before losing all contact with the base camp. There is a current rescue operation that is happening in order to retrieve his body. And then on Sunday earlier this week, an Australian climber failed to make it to the peak -- having died on the Tibet segment of the mountain.
While these people are relatively unknown (although we do know that they would have amassed a viable amount of mountaineering experience over the years, not to mention being wealthy enough to fund their own expedition), two famous lives were also claimed by Everest this year. Legendary Swiss climber Ueli Steck and 85-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan are two stalwarts of mountaineering who lost their battle with the mighty Everest. The latter died while making an attempt to reclaim his title as the world's oldest person to make it to Everest’s summit, having lost that title to 80-year old Yuichiro Miura a few years back. Yuichiro Miura might want to take stock of the situation concerning Min Bahadur, as Miura did express his intention to conquer Everest at the age of 90. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to spend the last few years of my life with my family and friends compared to going on an expedition that I would most probably not return from.
This climbing season, over 382 climbers have successfully reached the summit from the south side, while another 120 achieved the same from the Tibet segment. Early June would be when the spring climbing season comes to an end, so expect many to wait their turn to conquer Everest. Hopefully no more untoward events will happen later this week or the next.