Hundreds of Summits, Traffic Jams and Another Climber Lost on Everest

8000ers Everest
Traffic Jam Everest Hillary Step
File image from 2012 shows a traffic jam at Everest's Hillary Step.

Once again, the upper slopes of Everest have shown their brightest and darkest sides today. A huge but still undetermined number of summits on the south side led to traffic Jams of up to 200 climbers near the Balcony. Worst of all, Donald Cash, 55, of Utah, died at the former Hillary Step. Once again, the cause of death points to AMS or exhaustion.

Donasl Cash

Donald Cash. Photo: Donald Cash/The Himalayan Times

Cash was listed under the permit of Yuan Lee of China and climbed with Pioneer Adventure guides Lakpa Norbu and Pas Tenji. The American apparently collapsed on reaching the summit early this morning. Although the Sherpas helped him down and offered their O2, he eventually perished near the Hillary Step. One of the guides then went back up to assist struggling Indian climber Hitendra Chandrakant Mahajan. Eventually, the man made it back to Camp 4. Further news is expected on his state.

According to Alan Arnette, as many as 250 may have reached the summit today, since at least 15 big Everest operators had everyone in place for today’s big push. One of the successful climbers, Mirza Ali, became the first from Pakistan to complete the Seven Summits.

Meanwhile, the No-O2 climbers could be about to head toward the summit tonight. According to Carlos Garranzo, Juan Pablo Mohr’s locator placed him at the South Col.

News is also expected shortly from the north side of Everest, where ropes were finally fixed yesterday and where the wind has subsided.

Related stories:

All Eyes on Everest as Summit Wave Approaches

Why So Many Deaths in the Himalaya This Year?


About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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2 years ago

Does nt this death add up to four the toll on Everest so Far? what about climber Chris Daly, who died on abril 20 on Everest, according to Wikipedia and some News?

Grayson Tripps
Grayson Tripps
2 years ago

You left out the “detail” that they couldn’t get Cash down fast enough because of the 2 hour wait caused by crowds…