Mongolians Died Descending From Summit of Everest

Usukhjargal Tsedendamba and Prevsuren Lkhagvajav of Mongolia were determined to climb Everest without supplementary oxygen or sherpa support. They made the summit –although they resorted to oxygen in the end — but they paid for their success with their lives, dying on the way down.

The sherpa searchers who found the bodies retrieved their mobile phones. Once back in Base Camp, they sent the phones to the victims’ families in Kathmandu. They confirmed that the phones contained summit pictures. Both Mongolians took photos of each other, but neither could safely make it to a higher camp.

Climber holding flag on a summit.

One of the Mongolian climbers on the summit of Everest. Photo: Everest Today


Two climbers with Tag Nepal were the last to see the Mongolian pair alive, Everest Chronicle reports. That was Monday, May 13 at 8:54 am local time. The Tag Nepal climbers turned back from their summit attempt because of high winds, but stated that the Mongolian pair continued up.

Some teams summited that day, in sunny but windy weather, but all used bottled oxygen. Hearing no news from the Mongolians, outfitter 8K Expeditions tried to contact them over the radio but received no answer. It was later discovered that the pair had left the radio at Camp 4.

8K’s search team moved the climbers’ bodies off the route. The outfitter is in contact with the climbers’ families and will try to take the bodies down by the end of the season.

8K expedition director Lakpa Sherpa told ExplorersWeb from Base Camp that the Mongolians resorted to oxygen during their climb. “We provided them with three bottles of oxygen each, with mask and regulator,” he said. Lakpa says they will begin the retrieval of their bodies after his second group of clients summits.

More no-O2 summits expected today

We expect news from other no-O2 Everest climbers soon. Hugo Ayaviri of Bolivia has set off for the summit. In addition to the physical challenge, the climbers will have to deal with long lines and an extremely slow pace, making them even more vulnerable to cold. Karol Adamski of Poland, who previously said he would climb without O2, summited today in the Satori Adventures team, but there was no mention of him not being on O2.

According to his tracker, Norrdine Nouar of Germany set off from Camp 2 two days ago. His position has not been updated since then.

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.