KATHMANDU: The world’s highest mountain claimed two more lives today, bringing this season’s death toll to four on the Mount Everest.
According to Tilak Ram Pandey, Liaison Officer, Department of Mountaineering at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shriya Shah, a Canadian Non-Resident Nepali and Dr Schaff Erich, a climber from Germany, lost their lives while descending from the top of the Mount Everest.
“Shah died near Everest summit, while Schaff breathed his last at the South Cole,” Pandey told THT over phone from Everest Base Camp. Shriya, who was born in Kathmandu in 1979 and grew up in Mumbai, was the owner and president of SOS Splash of Style Inc, a company recognised as the exclusive importer of Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s ‘Khazana’ products in Canada.
Meanwhile, Song Won Bin from South Korea, a Chinese climber and a Nepali Sherpa guide have been missing since Saturday. “Fellow climbers are searching for them,” Pandey said.
Though the cause of the deaths are still unknown, Pandey said high winds, difficult trail and high-altitude have made this season’s climbing attempts more difficult and challenging. “It takes nearly 5 to 7 hours to summit in normal days but the climbers are struggling for up to 15 hours this time,” Pandey said.
According to him, at least five climbers, including two Chinese, who suffered a number of injuries, were airlifted from Base Camp this afternoon.
“Some five teams have cancelled their summit plans,” Pandey said. Nearly 25 teams have deferred their attempts to May 25/26 due to unfavourable weather. The route to Everest will be closed till May 24, he added.
Earlier, 10-time Everest summiteer, Karsang Namgyal Sherpa and two-time summiteer Namgyal Tshering Sherpa were killed while they heading to the Mount Everest in last week of April.