Sherpa on Team Led by Polar Fake Dies on Cho Oyu

8000ers Climbing
The standard route up Cho Oyu, showing Camp 2, where the fatal accident occurred. Photo: Mark Horrell

The first death of the spring Himalayan season occurred earlier this week, when Phujung Bhote Sherpa fell into a crevasse while fixing rope near Camp 2 on Cho Oyu (8,188m), the sixth highest mountain in the world.

The Nepali was part of a five-man Sherpa team supporting 10 foreign climbers, led by German adventurer Martin Szwed.

Veteran readers of ExWeb may recognize Szwed’s name. In 2015, Szwed faked a South Pole solo speed record for the Hercules Inlet route. He later admitted that he had submitted false photo proof, and his record claims have been roundly dismissed as it was later shown he had not skied any of the route at all.

Murari Sharma, Managing Director at Everest Parivar Treks, the company providing Szwed and co. with logistics, said Phujung Bhote fell to his death on April 29 when fixing ropes to Camp 2 (7,100m).

Attempts are being made to retrieve Phujung Bhote’s body and return it to his family in the Makalu region of Nepal.

Previous Links

Antarctica current: After the Great Hoax, What’s Next for Szwed?

Ghost skier? No trace of Martin Szwed’s claimed South Pole speed record

Norwegian record-holder calls out German on polar speed claim

Alone on the Ice – Outside Magazine



About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK. He juggles a day job as a public health scientist with a second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in newspapers, magazines, and on various brand websites. Major bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Porsche, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

He holds two degrees in Exercise and Health Sciences, and a PhD in Public Health.

His areas of expertise are polar expeditions, mountaineering, hiking, and adventure travel. In his spare time Ash enjoys going on small independent sledding expeditions, outdoor photography, and reading adventure literature.

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2 years ago

R. I. P.

2 years ago

Why are you equating a false South Pole claim to the death of a Sherpa?

Steven Conrad
1 year ago


Damien François
Damien François
1 year ago

I just read this now, almost a year later… I was with Phujung Bhote’s (no Sherpa, hoina) cousin, Jamling Bhote (EverQuest Expeditions), his niece Nisha (Jamling’s daughter), and other Bhote climbers from Sankhuwasabha on Everest, at camp 2, when we heard the news. The whole Bhote team was shoked, crushed. They are a very tight community I very much look up to. Jamling flew out of C2 then Kathmandu to help the family with the sad task of taking care of paperwork and bringing back the body (I’m not sure the body could be retrieved at all, since the Chinese… Read more »