An official from Nepal said that three climbers have died and two others are missing after climbing Mount Everest this past weekend. The three climbers died during their descent after scaling the mountain with a group of people. Gyanendra Shrestha, from Nepal’s Mountaineering Department, said that the best weather of the spring climbing season was present on Friday and Saturday of this past weekend. Shrestha then said that a windstorm hit the highest altitudes of Mount Everest late on Saturday afternoon. Close to 150 climbers made it to the summit of the mountain on both days, with most of them succeeding on Saturday.
“There was a traffic jam on the mountain on Saturday. Climbers were still heading to the summit as late as 2:30 p.m. which is quite dangerous,” Shrestha said from the base camp of Mount Everest.
Mount Everest climbers have been warned that they should not try to climb the summit after 11a.m. The ‘death zone’ of the mountain is located just above the final camp at South Col. It received its nickname from its conditions, which include a low oxygen level and a steep icy slope.
“With the traffic jam, climbers had a longer wait for their chance to go up the trail and spent too much time at higher altitude. Many of them are believed to be carrying limited amount of oxygen not anticipating the extra time spent,” Shrestha said.
It is believed that the three climbers who perished this weekend did so from altitude sickness and exhaustion. They have been identified as Doctor Eberhard Schaaf, 61, from Germany; Shriya Shah, a Canadian citizen born in Nepal; and Song Won-bin, a South Korean mountaineer. The two climbers still missing are a Chinese national and his Nepalese Sherpa guide.
In the month of May, the conditions are clear enough for only a short period of time for climbers to climb the 29,035-foot peak of Mount Everest. Eight people died on May 10, 1996, which is thought of as the deadliest day in history on Mount Everest. It is believed that the climbers that day began their climb very late in the day and wound up being caught in a snowstorm that swept across the mountain during the afternoon hours.