Everest Death Toll Approaches Highest Ever

In 2014, an avalanche killed 15 Nepali workers in the Khumbu Icefall, and two more died of health issues. In 2015, the earthquake that hit Nepal triggered a major avalanche from Pumori that killed 18 climbers in Base Camp. Those were the deadliest years on Everest. But this season is looking similarly bleak.

Yesterday, this season’s confirmed fatalities reached 12 after Petrus Swart of Canada (with Madison Mountaineering) died near Camp 3. Three more climbers are missing or awaiting rescue.

Swart suffered from Acute Mountain Sickness during his summit push, and the Sherpa crew helped him down to Camp 4. However, he died on the way to Camp 3, The Himalayan Times reports.

Multiple rescues ongoing

The situation on the mountain is confusing. Sources in Base Camp tell ExplorersWeb that there have been an extraordinary number of emergency evacuations and rescues, not all of which have been reported.

Two climbers have been missing for days. Deaf climber Hawari Bin Hashim went missing from Camp 4 last weekend and Shrinivas Sainis Dattatraya fell from 8,500m down the Tibetan side of the mountain.

The climber with a helmet and air-warming mask, mountains shining in the sunlight behind.

Suhajda Szilard with an air-warming mask near Camp 3 during his acclimatization. Photo: Suhajda Szilard


In addition, at least two rescues are taking place at the moment. A Sherpa team is looking for Suhajda Szilard, stranded at the Hillary Step (8,700m) since Wednesday. And Imagine Nepal is helping a snowblind 60-year-old Chinese woman down from roughly the same altitude. Imagine Nepal expedition leader Mingma G told ExplorersWeb that the Chinese climber is currently at Lhotse’s Camp 4.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.