Three Indian climbers have died on Nepal’s Mount Everest this week, bringing the death toll this season on the world’s highest peak to six.
Nihal Bagwan, an Indian climber who was part of a two-member expedition, died at camp four after descending from the summit late on Thursday, expedition organiser Babu Sherpa said on Friday.
“He reached the summit at 8am [02:15 GMT], but lost his energy while descending. So four Sherpa guides brought him back to the lower camp, where he died inside the tent,” Babu told DPA news agency.
Kalpana Das, a 53-year-old woman from India, who was part of a three-nation women’s expedition team, also died on Thursday, said Meera Acharya, an official at the department of tourism.
Anjali Kulkarni, 53, who was returning from the summit of Everest with her husband Sharad Kulkarni, died during her descent on Wednesday, according to Acharya.
Earlier this month, a US climber and an Indian mountaineer had died on their descent from Everest. An Irish climber who went missing is presumed dead on the mountain.
Babu, the managing director of Peak Promotion, said overcrowding had congested the route from camp 4 to the top.
“There were only short weather windows and everyone was trying to climb at once,” he said.
Traffic jam in the death zone.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 24, 2019
Hundreds of climbers attempt to climb Mount Everest and other Himalayan peaks during the spring climbing season. The mountain claims lives of several mountaineers every year.
The tragedies come amid the feats of Nepalese Sherpa climber Kami Rita, who broke his own record in quick succession. He scaled the Mount Everest for a 24th time on Tuesday, just a week after breaking his record for the most successful ascents of the world’s highest peak.
The route was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and remains the most popular snow trail leading to the highest point on the Earth.
Nearly 5,000 climbers have scaled the peak since the pioneering ascent, many multiple times.