Tragedy On Everest | Mountain's Death Toll For Season Reaches 10 After Four Bodies Found
A dangerous mission to retrieve an Indian climber's body has come in for some heavy criticism.
Four more bodies have been discovered on Everest, bringing the mountain's death toll for the season up to 10. The climbers were found dead in their tent roughly 7,950 metres up, (at camp four). This discovery follows soon after the four deaths that occurred over the weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, Ravi Kumar, aged 27, made it to the summit of Everest but died just hours later after descending to approximately 8,400 metres. He was one of four people who died on the mountain at the weekend. Others named include the American doctor Roland Yearwood and the Australian climber Francesco Marchetti.
The body of Ravi Kumar was spotted on Monday deep inside a 200-metre crevasse. The height where his body was found was well within what is known as the "death zone"; where oxygen levels plummet dramatically and the risk of getting severe hypoxia increases significantly.
A rescue mission to retrieve Kumar's body, reportedly being undertaken under great pressure from the Indian embassy in Nepal's capital Kathmandu, has been heavily criticised by Ang Tshering Sherpa, the chair of the Nepal Mountaineering Association. "It's not just risky, it's a most dangerous act to try to bring a frozen dead body from such a dangerous zone," he said.
The four bodies discovered in their tent at camp four were found by a team dispatched to retrieve the body of a Slovakian climber who died on Sunday. The group of four was made up of two Nepalese guides, and two foreign climbers.
Experienced mountaineering commentator Alan Arnette speculated on his blog that the four might have died from toxic fumes released by their camping stoves. "This is not just sad, it is totally irresponsible – to die from carbon monoxide poisoning is to break a basic rule of camping," he wrote online.
The mountain has been a hotbed of activity in recent weeks, as the summit routes have opened up. This year has seen a record 376 permits issued for climbers attempting to summit from the Nepal side, with an additional 136 granted permission from the Tibet side.
Over the years, Everest has claimed numerous lives. As well as being the world's highest mountain, it is also said to be the world's highest open grave. There's believed to be around 200 dead bodies on Everest, all of them remarkably well preserved because of the extreme cold.