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 Routen is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK specialising in adventurous travel and expeditions, such as mountaineering, polar travel, and ocean crossings. Ash juggles a day job as a public health scientist with this second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in national newspapers, national and international outdoor and adventure magazines, and various websites. Bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

Alongside writing, Ash also spends some time undertaking his own adventures, and completed a 640 km foot crossing of a frozen Lake Baikal in 2018. His next arctic journey is a 700 km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in Canada.


Leave a Reply

4 Comments on "Sherpa on Team Led by Polar Fake Dies on Cho Oyu"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

R. I. P.


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

Steven Conrad


Damien François
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 »