A British man died on Mount Everest, marking the tenth death of two months, when a record number of mountaineers rush to conquer the world's highest summit under an unusually short window of well-climbed weather.
A 41-year-old British climber, Robin Haynes Fisher, reached Everest's summit at. 08:30 local time Sunday morning and collapsed and died shortly after, at about 150 meters below the peak, according to Murari Sharma, CEO of Everest Pariwar Treks. The Himalayan Times reported that Jangbu Sherpa, a guide with the same expedition, also fell ill and was brought to a lower altitude camp.
The deaths come from reports of massive congestion on the mountain, especially around Hillary Step, where climbers must go single file. On Wednesday there were reports of two and three hours of delays in this area.
The highest climbing season for Everest is April and May, and all 1
"You have people who have lifelong dreams, whether they are 28 or 58, to climb Mount Everest. And they get there, they achieve their dream, and they go about doing something that should be one of the most significant events in their lives, "says Alan Arnette, a mountaineer running a Mount Everest blog.
2019 has been the deadly year for Everest climbers since 2012, another year, saw ten deaths, and Arnette said a collision of factors was due.
Nepal issued a large number of permits to climb the mountains this year – 367 to foreigners and 14 to Nepalese climbers, according to a state liaison officer in the base camp – and there are at least the number of local support staff who go with the trek. But due to unpredictable weather conditions, there were only five days when conditions were safe enough for the summit, according to Arnette, who tracks Everest activity.
Last year, according to Arnette, there were 11 consecutive days of low winds.
"The jet stream has not moved from the top as it traditionally does in May," he said, adding that severe winds and colds are creating uncertainty at the summit. "It's just too dangerous for frostbite or literally blown from the mountain."
This has meant that many mountaineers waiting for favorable weather conditions reach the summit at the same time and create bottlenecks. Around Hillary Step, where climbers should go single-file early in their descent from the summit, there were reports of two to three hours of delays on Wednesday.
Some climbers have spent as long as 15 to 20 hours over 8,000 meters due to a combination of exhaustion and waiting times, while the average time must be closer to 10-12 hours, Arnette said.
The longer a person stays at high altitude, the higher their risk of altitude sickness, which occurs when the body struggles to adapt to lower air pressure and oxygen level. The recommended answer is that a person must move to a lower altitude area.
The number of companies offering Everest climbs has ballooned in recent years, and some companies now charge as little as half the $ 65,000 price that more established carriers charge. This has encouraged several less experienced climbers to try Everest, according to Arnette, who has argued for stricter licensing standards.
"You need to qualify to run the Boston or New York Marathons or join Iron Man in Hawaii," he said. "You don't have to qualify to climb the highest mountain in the world. And that's not right."
Among the deaths reported this week were Donald Lynn Cash, a 55-year-old Utah resident who captured the seven summits – the highest mountains on each continent – and died shortly after reaching Everest -the top.
Shortly after he reached the summit on Wednesday, he swelled because of high altitude sickness, wrote guide company Pioneer Adventure on his website.
"This is a total blast," Cash wrote from the mountain in April in a post on Instagram. "I'm really blessed just to be here on this adventure with good new friends !!"
ABC News & # 39; Alexandra Faul and Alexandra Svokos contributed to this report.