Deaths on Makalu, Everest, Lhotse and Kangchenjunga

How much do we really know about the impact of altitude on the developing body? Photo: Mingma Sherpa

During the busy last few days on the 8000’ers, five climbers have died and two are still missing.

The death toll for this Himalayan season currently reads: Annapurna (1 dead), Cho Oyu (1 dead), Everest (1 dead, 1 missing), Kangchenjunga (2 dead, 1 missing), Lhotse (1 dead), Makalu (2 dead, 1 missing).

Everest (8,848m)
Irish climber Seamus Lawless, who went missing yesterday at approximately 8,300m, has not been found. Three Sherpas searched the Balcony area, where he was believed to have fallen, yesterday and this morning, without success. The chances of finding Lawless alive are slim. High winds now buffet the mountain, and a further search may not resume until at least May 19.

Also on Everest, Ravi Thakar from India was found dead inside his tent at Camp 4 (8,000m) early this morning. Thakar was a part of the Seven Summit Treks International Everest 2019 team, which shared logistical support with others, including the Irish team. Cause of death is unknown.

Lhotse (8,516m)
Bulgarian climber Ivan Tomov died today after reaching the summit yesterday. Tomov, 35, was climbing alongside Russian Nastya Runova, without Sherpa support or oxygen. He struggled during the descent and was given oxygen and Dexamethasone at Camp 4, where he spent the night. Although he managed to climb down a little further today, he perished somewhere close to Camp 4. Tomov had previously scaled Broad Peak and Manaslu without oxygen in 2014 and 2017; in 2013, he was at Camp 2 on Nanga Parbat when the terrorist attack hit Base Camp.

Ivan Tomov. Photo: Ivan Tomov

Makalu (8,481m)
Narayan Singh, a member of the successful Indian Army expedition, has died at 8,100m. The soldier developed high altitude sickness on his way down from the summit.

The 2019 Indian Army Makalu Expedition Team. Photo: Seven Summit Treks

Another Indian climber, Dipankar Ghos, is currently missing at 7,300m and Sherpas have searched with no success.

Dipankar Ghos on Cho Oyu. Photo: Dipankar Ghos

Kangchenjunga (8,586m)
Rodrigo Vivanco disappeared above Camp 4 (7,550m) after summiting late on Wednesday evening and remains missing despite search efforts.

The bodies of Kuntal Karar and Biplab Baidya have been brought down to Camp 2 and are awaiting helicopter recovery to Kathmandu.


About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK. His words have featured in global outlets such as The Guardian, Outside Magazine and Red Bull. He works as a public health scientist by day and writes about the outdoors in his spare time. Ash's areas of expertise are polar expeditions, mountaineering, and adventure travel. For vacation Ash enjoys going on independent sledding expeditions.


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Sheila Williams
Sheila Williams
2 years ago

Article above reports: The bodies of Kuntal Karar and Biplab Baidya have been recovered from Camp 2 and flown to Kathmandu. However, Dream Wanderlust, most accurate source, states the two climbers who perished, are still near the summit waiting for rescue mission. The injured climbers with frostbite, Ramesh Roy and Rudra Prasad Halder, were rushed to Kathmandu, by a helicopter picking them up at Camp 2 on Kanchenjunga at 6:30am local Nepalese time on May 17th.

Its helpful to demonstrate accurate reporting, especially for the communities and cultures who expect accuracies as a matter of respect and courtesy.

Sheila Williams
Sheila Williams
2 years ago
Reply to  Ash Routen

Hello, Ash, now I see that Dream Wanderlust updates the recovery of the two climbers Biplab and Kuntal (RIP) expected to be airlifted from Camp 2 on May 19th (link below). Feel free to delete all of my posts. I tried to delete, but can find the delete feature.

The rescues will be in two different transports: 1st one on May 17th, 2nd one expected on May 19th, with both leaving from Camp 2.

Thank you for replying to me and researching this matter further.

James S. Hoy
James S. Hoy
2 years ago

This is a hard time to say anthing. This feels like some crazy thing someone had in their mind to do. We all know minds get whacky at higher alt. No climber would have this sort of ambition

Trekking Trail Nepal
2 years ago

Adventure comes with Risk, but I don’t want to hear all this in 1-day form eight thousandser.

1 year ago

What was the major reason behind to attack in Nanga parbat base camp by terrorist while Bulgarian climber Ivan Tomov was in Base Camp 2 !!